MIDDLETOWN, RI â€“ September 2007 marked the beginning of a remarkable evolution in maritime satellite communications as KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), together with its partner, ViaSat Inc., (Nasdaq: VSAT) launched the mini-VSAT BroadbandSM service. Relying on KVHâ€™s breakthrough 24-inch (60 cm) TracPhone® V7 satellite communications antenna and ViaSatâ€™s ArcLight® spread spectrum technology, mini-VSAT Broadband represented a radical reduction in the size and cost for maritime communications as well as the first fully integrated VSAT hardware and service solution for mariners. With todayâ€™s announcement that service is now online in the Indian Ocean, Guam, and the waters north of Australia via the JCSAT-85 satellite, the mini-VSAT Broadband network now encircles the globe and provides uninterrupted service and coverage for vessels as well as network coverage to the ViaSat Yonder® in-flight broadband network for business and commercial aircraft.
â€œVessels can now circumnavigate the globe and never leave our multi-megabit broadband service. The mini-VSAT Broadband service was planned as a global network from its inception when KVH and ViaSat entered into a multi-year agreement designed to revolutionize broadband service for the maritime market,â€ explained Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVHâ€™s chief executive officer. â€œFollowing the activation of the Indian Ocean Region, I am proud to say that we offer a seamless, robust worldwide Ku-band network, unlike other maritime VSAT networks that claim global coverage even though they donâ€™t have any significant satellite capacity leased in all regions. It is also worth noting that our Indian Ocean coverage is unique, extending well south of the Equator while other VSAT services in the region simply hug the Indian coastline.â€
Don Buchman, director for ViaSat Mobile Broadband Systems, said, â€œCoverage is a key element in providing this improved level of service to mobile customers, so it is very satisfying to see the global ArcLight network become fully operational. The great distribution and customer support of KVH, along with the new combination of technologies and services provided by both companies, has enabled a much better broadband service for the maritime community.â€
The Indian Ocean Region is the second network expansion supported through KVHâ€™s arrangement with Sky Perfect JSAT, which is also supporting service in Japanese and Asian waters while selling the mini-VSAT Broadband service to Japanese flagged vessels under its new â€œOcean Broadbandâ€ branded service.
The mini-VSAT Broadband service, along with the KVH TracPhone V7 antenna, comprise the first FCC-approved 24-inch VSAT antenna, service, and support package available for maritime communications. The networkâ€™s ArcLight technology is delivered via ten satellite transponders providing service on a global basis. Each satellite is connected to one of KVHâ€™s eight secure earth stations around the globe. ViaSatâ€™s ArcLight spread spectrum technology was originally developed for military applications in which fast, reliable data connections in all weather conditions are critical. This common architecture makes global integration with a shipping companyâ€™s IT infrastructure simple while also assuring automatic switching between satellites as a vessel transits between regions. The resulting seamless network offers voice service and Internet access as fast as 512 Kbps (upload) and 2 Mbps (download) with significant cost savings compared to competing services.
â€œThe mini-VSAT Broadband network is the worldâ€™s fastest growing maritime broadband service thanks to our combination of spread spectrum technology, affordable broadband capacity, commercial-grade compact antenna technology, and our end-to-end service and support,â€ remarked Brent C. Bruun, KVHâ€™s vice president of satellite sales and business development. â€œRight now, hundreds of customers are online simultaneously around the globe, including the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, Nordic Tankers, and Mowinckel Ship Management, to name a few. These and our hundreds of other subscribers are supported by the worldâ€™s leading marine electronics providers, including our own expert dealers as well as other market leaders like Thrane & Thrane and JRC.â€
About KVH Industries, Inc.
Middletown, RI-based KVH Industries, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiaries, KVH Europe A/S and KVH Singapore, 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 high-quality digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their homes and offices.