MIDDLETOWN, RI â€“ Commercial maritime operators investing to improve crew retention and welfare now have a new tool to call upon following todayâ€™s introduction of the mini-VSAT Broadbandsm Crew Calling System by KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) at Nor-Shipping 2009 in Norway. This optional system expands the enhanced VoIP telephone services offered by KVHâ€™s mini-VSAT Broadband service and TracPhoneÂ® V7 antenna to provide an additional dedicated telephone line specifically for crew calling.
â€œIn the highly competitive commercial maritime industry, offering affordable communications is an easy and effective step to help attract new crew members, improve crew efficiency and satisfaction, and reduce the costs incurred by crew turnover,â€ explained Brent C. Bruun, KVHâ€™s vice president of sales and business development. â€œIn a recent survey by ShipTalk, Ltd., professional mariners ranked access to a telephone as the second most important facility to have on board a vessel. By adding our crew calling option to a new or existing TracPhone V7 system, vessel owners and operators will take full advantage of their mini-VSAT Broadband service connection while enjoying the benefits to crew morale and retention rates that come when crew members are able to stay in touch with friends and family anywhere on the globe.â€
Adding the crew calling option is a simple process. A dedicated Crew Calling Gateway is connected to the TracPhone V7, thereby establishing a link for a dedicated crew calling phone. Crew members will be able to purchase a calling card from the shipâ€™s captain or buy minutes directly from KVH via credit card. They will then be able to place calls anywhere in the world via this dedicated phone while shipâ€™s business is handled via the two enhanced VoIP lines that come standard with mini-VSAT Broadband service.
Together with the KVH TracPhone V7, the mini-VSAT Broadband service comprises the first end-to-end 24-inch VSAT hardware, service, and support package available for maritime communications. The mini-VSAT Broadband service currently offers Voice over IP telephone and Internet access as fast as 512 Kbps (upload) and 2 Mbps (download) at fixed monthly rates to mariners throughout North America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, Europe, the Northern Pacific, and the Persian Gulf. KVH also recently announced an agreement with SP-JSAT to expand mini-VSAT Broadband coverage into Asia Pacific waters and the Indian Ocean.
About KVH Industries, Inc.
Middletown, RI-based KVH Industries, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, KVH Europe A/S, are leading providers of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 150,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. KVHâ€™s mission is to connect mobile customers around the globe with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their homes and offices.