(MIDDLETOWN, R.I., and LILLESTROM, Norway) — KVH Industries is launching a new service called CHARTlink for ChartCo, in association with leading digital chart distributor ChartCo, to transmit charts and a library of navigators’ publications to vessels at sea in a timely and affordable manner. The two companies unveiled the new solution at Nor-Shipping 2017 in Lillestrom, Norway, last week.
For ship managers and officers who need to know that their vessels are ready for the next voyage, CHARTlink for ChartCo is designed to ensure fast, affordable delivery of the updates needed to conduct safe voyages and comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s regulations requiring the carriage of navigational data using an electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS).
“We keep a close track of developments in satellite communications to determine the best solution for getting voyage-dependent content to customers who transit the globe on thousands of vessels,” said Martin Taylor, CEO of ChartCo. “Our evaluation of IP-MobileCast led us to conclude that it’s a great solution. We’re happy to be working with KVH on this joint initiative and new delivery method, and are confident our customers will appreciate its timeliness, reliability, and low price point.”
KVH will transmit complete chart data and publications on a weekly basis to subscribing vessels via its IP-MobileCast content delivery service. The CHARTlink for ChartCo service will be included at no additional charge to subscribers of AgilePlans by KVH, the recently introduced all-inclusive, no-commitment connectivity as a service (CaaS) offering. KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband customers who wish to purchase CHARTlink for ChartCo separately can do so for a fixed monthly fee of $49, per vessel.
Licenses for access to the encrypted content will be available from ChartCo. The content available includes ChartCo’s proprietary digital products, which are used by more than 13,500 vessels today; and, as ChartCo is an authorized ADMIRALTY distributor, all of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)’s vector charts and e-publications.
“We are happy to be working with ChartCo, a company whose prominence in providing charts and navigational data to commercial and leisure vessels is unquestioned,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH CEO. “ChartCo has always been an innovator, and we are thrilled that they see IP-MobileCast as a high-value delivery solution for its customers.”
With the advent of the IMO’s mandate that vessels must carry charts that comply with ECDIS — a mandate that is nearing the final 2018 deadline of a rollout that began in 2012 — chart distributors and vessel operators alike face the challenge of ensuring timely chart updates while at sea.
Using standard satellite communications for full chart set delivery is economically prohibitive, with airtime fees potentially ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars per ship for one global quarterly chart set. In light of those economics, customers typically opt for courier delivery of a DVD or USB, but that method involves uncertain logistics and customs clearance expenses. One KVH customer calculated that the average cost and time of delivering a DVD to a ship was $100 and several weeks’ delay.
The wide range of chart content, e-publications and software that KVH’s CHARTlink for ChartCo is designed to deliver includes:
• Regs4ships: ChartCo’s searchable database of digital maritime regulations including flag state compliance documentation combined with IMO, ILO, and EU legislation to provide an overall regulatory solution.
• EnviroManager: ChartCo’s unique environmental tool to assist vessels in complying with MARPOL regulations and national regulations worldwide.
• New editions and updates to ADMIRALTY Vector Chart Service (AVCS) and ADMIRALTY Information Overlay (AIO): More than 15,000 digital charts in vector format, compatible with all ECDIS types.
• Updates to ADMIRALTY digital publications: Digital List of Lights, Digital Radio Signals volumes 1-6, and TotalTide.
• New editions and updates to ADMIRALTY e-nautical publications: Electronic versions of official ADMIRALTY nautical publications including Sailing Directions.
• Notices to mariners, paper chart corrections, and paper publication corrections: From a wide range of authorities including the ADMIRALTY, United States, Japan, Australia, Norway, Canada, and India.
• MetManager global weather forecast service: Delivered four times per day as IP-MobileCast FORECASTlink, this is included with CHARTlink at no additional cost, on customer request.
• Port data: Comprehensive and up-to-date port data as published in the IHS Ports and Terminals Guide.
• NAVAREA warning updates: Urgent time-critical navigational warnings for all 21 NAVAREA regions.
• International news: Daily NEWSlink international news and regional supplements.
CHARTlink for ChartCo is the latest addition to KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service, which utilizes multicasting technology to deliver news, sports, entertainment, training, charts, and weather content to vessels with no data transmission costs. To receive IP-MobileCast content, a vessel must have a KVH TracPhone V-IP series satellite communications system onboard, and an active mini-VSAT Broadband monthly airtime plan. IP-MobileCast is part of KVH’s complete maritime solution, which includes TracPhone antenna systems, mini-VSAT Broadband global connectivity, Videotel maritime training programs, crew welfare and operations content, and KVH OneCare global support.