KVH introduces TracPhone V7-IP for mini-VSAT broadband service

by Staff Reporter | September 1st, 2012

The TracPhone V7-IP features a 3-axis, gyro-stabilised antenna and an integrated belowdecks unit that includes an ArcLight spread spectrum modem and KVH’s new IP-enabled antenna control unit – the CommBox-ACU – which includes a built-in CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager, Voice over IP (VoIP) adapter, Ethernet switch, and WiFi adapter.

For the mariner, KVH’s new TracPhone V7-IP costs less, the company claims and is reportedly significantly easier to install. The TracPhone V7-IP’s integrated design reportedly reduces the complexity inherent in competing maritime VSAT systems, which typically require a local technician to configure a full rack of hardware from a half-dozen different third-party manufacturers of modems, antennas, controllers, switches, adapters, and servers. The new system also makes the advanced features of KVH’s best-of-breed network management solution, the CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager, available to every TracPhone V7-IP customer, without investing in additional hardware.

“The TracPhone V7-IP represents a significant leap forward in delivering fast, affordable, reliable broadband connectivity to maritime customers,” explains Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “A major upgrade to our pioneering TracPhone V7 system, the TracPhone V7-IP offers a complete end-to-end solution for managing both IT functions and communications on board the vessel. It delivers data at up to 2 Mbps, and has two integrated voice lines that can be expanded to support up to nine simultaneous calls. It’s the same size and as easy to install as a FleetBroadband FB500 system, but it delivers data five times faster and at one tenth the cost of Inmarsat FleetBroadband.”

For the vessel owner’s IT manager, the TracPhone V7-IP reportedly provides functionality to help manage on-board networks remotely. The system itself is very easy, the company claims, for the crew to operate due to a web browser-based user interface that even includes an iPhone app. The CommBox-ACU provides a suite of on-board services optimised for satellite communications, including crystal clear VoIP calling, Internet café, crew calling, managed e-mail, secure file delivery, and remote network access. The end-to-end design of the TracPhone V7-IP reportedly enables the system software to be updated over-the-air using either the mini-VSAT Broadband service or cellular service due to a GPRS modem built into the system’s antenna. This remote access enables technicians working in KVH’s GlobalCare support centre to remotely diagnose and troubleshoot any issues through industry leading 24/7/365 support.

The mini-VSAT Broadband service for the TracPhone V7-IP is delivered by an interlaced network of 14 modern Ku-band satellite transponders providing seamless worldwide coverage, the company claims, north of the equator and around all major continents, including most major shipping routes south of the equator. For global coverage, KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network now includes three global C-band transponders that overlay its Ku-band service, both of which can be received by the new dual-mode TracPhone V11 onboard terminal introduced earlier this year. By leveraging abundant new commercial satellite services covering the ocean regions, KVH is able to offer significantly more affordable connectivity than legacy L-band services like Inmarsat FleetBroadband. As demand for the service grows, KVH can reportedly add new capacity to its network, exactly where it is needed, to assure outstanding performance for customers concentrated in specific regions.

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