An advanced, 60 cm marine satellite antenna system designed to consistently deliver the fastest data speeds globally to the maritime market was unveiled by KVH Industries, Inc. at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, in Florida.

The TracPhone® V7-HTS achieves data download speeds of up to 10 Mbps, three times faster than current 60 cm models on the market, including KVH’s own system, and fast enough to enable the streaming of HD-quality content at sea.

In addition, to further meet the demands of increased data usage at sea, KVH is offering the TracPhone V7-HTS with new hybrid airtime plans that deliver a free, lower-speed unlimited use data channel that runs at the same time as the high-speed data channel.

The faster data speeds of the TracPhone V7-HTS are accomplished by a combination of KVH’s proprietary antenna system design and industry-leading mini-VSAT Broadbandsm network, which recently began using advanced Intelsat Epic satellites for high throughput satellite (HTS) capabilities, and additional capacity from SKY Perfect JSAT satellites. With the HTS network, KVH added 25 million square miles to its global maritime Ku-band high-speed connectivity footprint.

With the combination of fast data streaming and global coverage, the TracPhone V7-HTS is poised to transform the use of broadband at sea. For the leisure market, the system is designed to enable yacht owners and their guests to enjoy HD streaming, popular social apps, and other benefits of connectivity for a new era of digital life at sea.

The captain of a 44.8-meter superyacht, who is one of the first to use the system, reports: “We just voyaged from Florida to Panama with the new TracPhone V7-HTS onboard, and enjoyed excellent speeds of 10 Mbps. This is a great service for a superyacht demanding higher data speeds than a traditional VSAT can provide,” says Bryan Antill, captain of the M/Y Surina.

For the commercial maritime market, the TracPhone V7-HTS is designed to enable merchant fleets to take advantage of cloud-based software programs, remote system monitoring, and data analytics in the pursuit of digitalization. With applications such as remote system monitoring requiring frequent data uploads, the TracPhone V7-HTS provides upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps, six times faster than KVH’s current 60 cm system.

“We are thrilled to offer the streaming fast TracPhone V7-HTS to boaters and mariners around the world, so they can experience the benefits of connectivity even while at sea. Ship managers can improve their operational efficiency by taking advantage of data-driven tools and decision-making, while yacht captains can offer guests onboard the faster connectivity they desire,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, co-founder and chief executive officer of KVH. “We continue to bring innovative solutions to the marine market, including a network configuration able to provide high-speed data as well as unlimited use data all from the same system. What other services are offering as their airtime plans is a free value-added bonus from KVH.”

Additional features of the TracPhone V7-HTS include:

  • The secure myKVH™ mini-VSAT Manager™ – an exclusive suite of tools that provide transparency into and control over data usage, including crew and user data allocation, real-time vessel tracking, customized text and email alerts, and management of the dual high-speed and unlimited use data channels
  • Integrated CommBox™ Modem (ICM) – streamlined all-in-one belowdecks unit featuring a browser-based user interface; iPhone® app for system status, updates, and support; and all necessary components—from antenna control unit and high-throughput modem to Voice over IP (VoIP) adapter and integrated Wi-Fi and Ethernet switches—built into the sleek, 2U-high ICM
  • IP-MobileCast™ content-ready – fully compatible with KVH’s exclusive content delivery service, which offers news, movies, TV programs, sports events, weather data, ECDIS-compatible chart updates, and training programs
  • KVH OneCare™ – global support program including application engineering, solution deployment, and operating support around the clock

KVH has a history of innovation in the maritime market, and launched its mini-VSAT Broadband network in 2007 with the original TracPhone V7 antenna system, which offered a faster, more compact, and more affordable maritime VSAT system and service than any on the market at that time. Responding to customer demand in subsequent years, KVH added two more VSAT antenna systems: TracPhone V3-IP, a 37 cm, Ku-band maritime VSAT antenna introduced in 2011; and the TracPhone V11-IP, a 1 meter, C/Ku-band antenna, introduced in 2012. Earlier this year, KVH announced that it has fielded more than 7,000 maritime VSAT units.

KVH provides a complete maritime communications solution from a single source, including mini-VSAT Broadband global connectivity; TracPhone satellite communications antenna systems; IP-MobileCast content delivery services; and Videotel™ maritime training content and management.

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