(MIDDLETOWN, R.I. and LONDON) — Today at London International Shipping Week, KVH Industries introduced the second generation of its mini-VSAT Broadband solution. The new offering is designed to transform the maritime VSAT market with a combination of data delivered at the network's highest speeds, lower price points than previous airtime plans, and the content, tools and support to optimize broadband effectiveness.
The expanded service, mini-VSAT Broadband 2.0, encompasses rugged, reliable antennas and other hardware, flexible airtime options, extensive operations and entertainment content, innovative content delivery, and comprehensive support — all available from a single global provider.
"Other satellite communications providers respond to increasing broadband demand by simply increasing airtime rates. We knew there was a better solution," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, chief executive officer of KVH. "We provide maritime customers with affordable, usage-based plans at the data speeds they need to take advantage of new cloud-based applications for improving operational efficiency — and we give them the tools they need for bandwidth management by user and vessel."
New features of KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband 2.0 solution, which will be available on Oct. 1, include:
• New airtime rate plans: Usage-based plans, designed around each ship's monthly requirements for operational and crew data, deliver data at maximum speeds on the network at every price point. In some cases, the top downlink speed of 4 Mbps is 15 times faster than previous plans, while the cost has been reduced by one third.
• MyKVHTM network management portal: This secure portal enables a ship operator to manage network usage by vessel or by individual crew members, allocate operational and crew data, and receive customized usage alerts by email and SMS text message.
• KVH OneCare: This comprehensive global customer support program covers application engineering, solution deployment and operating support, with KVH as the single point of contact. The program is designed to minimize life-cycle costs and maximize service availability, and features an enhanced standard warranty covering parts and labor for two years for all KVH mini-VSAT Broadband antenna systems.
• News and sports content packages: New entertainment content packages are designed to make news and sports programming more accessible to more subscribers via KVH's IP-MobileCast content delivery service.
"Ever since we launched the original mini-VSAT Broadband service in 2007, we have been leading the industry in innovative solutions," said Brent Bruun, executive vice president of mobile broadband for KVH Industries, and a speaker at the London briefing. "Already, more ships rely on KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband network than the next two VSAT providers combined, and our growing customer base and satellite capacity are testimony to our forward thinking."
The new features bolster KVH's leading solution, which includes: global connectivity from the maritime industry's most extensive C/Ku-band satellite network; a global private terrestrial and MPLS network for enhanced data security; compact yet powerful TracPhone V-IP series systems designed exclusively for the mini-VSAT Broadband network; and affordable delivery of gigabytes of the content needed onboard vessels today via IP-MobileCast, KVH's unique content delivery service. KVH's IP-MobileCast takes advantage of one-to-many multicast efficiency to deliver up to 500 GB of operations and entertainment content per month to vessels without impacting the vessel's data plan, bandwidth, or network performance.
"Competitive market factors make it clear that the maritime industry needs to change how it thinks about connectivity and its impact on competitiveness and profitability," said van Heyningen. "KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband 2.0 is the only complete satellite communications solution that helps maritime enterprises meet their complex operational requirements, while providing affordable communications and engaging content for their onboard personnel."