National Marine Electronics Association Recognizes KVH Product Excellence with 2016 Awards

NMEA Recognizes KVH Product Excellence with 2016 Awards

09.30.16

KVH’s TracPhone satellite communications and TracVision satellite TV systems honored at annual NMEA conference

Middletown, RI – September 30, 2016 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) is pleased to announce that the top marine electronics professionals in the country have honored two of KVH’s marine satellite systems for their outstanding performance and reliability. KVH’s TracPhone V3-IP received the National Marine Electronics Association’s (NMEA) 2016 Product of Excellence Award in the satellite communications antenna category, while the TracVision TV3 received the 2016 Product of Excellence Award in the satellite TV antenna category.

This is the 19th consecutive year that KVH has achieved the NMEA distinction for its TracVision satellite television antenna systems and the 14th time that KVH’s TracPhone satellite communications systems have been recognized. NMEA is an industry group made up of more than 600 companies, including manufacturers, dealers, and boat builders.

“NMEA’s skilled professionals work on boats and with boaters every day, so they have an unmatched understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and what keeps their customers satisfied,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH chief executive officer. “We are gratified to have earned this recognition from NMEA and its members based on their firsthand experience with our products and services, along with those of our competitors. We strive every day to justify the confidence that NMEA experts and their customers have placed in us.”

KVH’s TracPhone V3-IP and its earlier variant, the TracPhone V3, have been recognized with a NMEA product award in the satellite communications antenna category for the past five years in a row. The TracPhone V3-IP is a 37 cm (14.5 inch) diameter Ku-band VSAT antenna that operates on KVH’s worldwide mini-VSAT Broadbandsm network, the most widely fielded maritime VSAT service1. The ultra-compact system meets the increasing demand for broadband connectivity on boats today and into the future, delivering fast data speeds at low airtime costs, and with a terminal that can be installed on boats as small as 30 feet.

First introduced in 2014, the TracVision TV3 joins a long line of TracVision products that have been honored by NMEA, going back to 1998. The TracVision TV3 is an ultra-compact marine satellite TV system ideal for powerboats and sailboats that cruise as far as 100 nautical miles offshore. The TV3 makes it possible for boaters to enjoy their favorite high-definition television programming while on the water. The compact, 37 cm (14.5 inch) diameter system includes an IP-enabled TV-Hub for easy setup and operation, and makes it possible to access system information from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Note to Editors: For additional information about KVH’s award-winning TracVision and TracPhone products, please visit the KVH website. High-resolution images of KVH products are available at the KVH Press Room Image Library.

1KVH is the world’s No. 1 maritime VSAT supplier as measured by vessels equipped with mini-VSAT Broadband service, according to NSR’s Maritime SATCOM Markets, 4th Edition, June 2016, and the COMSYS Maritime VSAT Report, 4th Edition, March 2015.

About KVH Industries, Inc.
KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 200,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. KVH is also a leading news, music, and entertainment content provider to many industries including maritime, retail, and leisure. Videotel, a KVH company, is a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training and e-Learning. KVH is based in Middletown, RI, with research, development, and manufacturing operations in Middletown, RI, and Tinley Park, IL. The company’s global presence includes offices in Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

Videotel Produces New Programme for Safe Navigation in one of the World’s Busiest Shipping Lanes

09.19.16

“Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait” is a multi-national training initiative led by the maritime authorities of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore

Middletown, RI and London, UK – September 19, 2016 – The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has released a training programme, produced by Videotel, a KVH company, (Nasdaq: KVHI), to encourage safe navigation in the Singapore Strait. Carrying an estimated one third of the world’s traded goods, the Singapore Strait is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Recent projections show that maritime traffic is set to increase significantly along this narrow waterway, which, together with the Malacca Strait, stretches for more than 400 miles, connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

“Being chosen to produce this three-part training package was a great honour for us and reinforces the quality of our work and the ability to interpret a complex brief, turning it into an informative and interactive e-Learning training package,” says Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel.

Aimed at experienced ship masters and bridge teams, Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait is a three-part training package of two full-length videos and an interactive computer-based module. The programme is being distributed free to shipping companies by the MPA. In addition, subscribers to Videotel’s award-winning Videotel On Demand (VOD) system will also have access to this training package.

Produced jointly by the maritime authorities of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, the multimedia project has been independently vetted and endorsed by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council of Singapore.

Utilising the power of video and computer-based training technology, “Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait” follows a transit through the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) from east to west and west to east, highlighting the precautionary areas where crossing traffic is most often encountered, the many pilot boarding grounds, and the areas of shallow water where strong tidal forces can present a danger to navigation.

Combining animated charts, AIS recordings of actual voyages, and video footage shot onboard a variety of vessels transiting in both directions by day, by night, in fair and in stormy conditions, the multimedia package emphasises the need for detailed voyage planning, good seamanship, and close attention to advice from the Singapore Vessel Traffic Information Service (VTIS).

Videotel’s training solutions are in use on more than 12,000 vessels worldwide, and include 950 new and updated titles to meet current seafarer training needs. The Videotel programmes are available in a range of formats, including 500+ e-Learning courses, more than twice the number of computer-based training (CBT) programmes offered by competitors. Videotel’s Basic Training Package of 20 essential maritime training programmes is available via KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service, which utilises multicasting technology to deliver news, entertainment, and operations content without using vessels’ monthly airtime data allotments.

Videotel has been a leader in developing training material since 1973 when the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), the forerunner to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), wanted to improve the quality of training materials available to seafarers and called on the company’s services. Videotel has recorded more than 11 million training events in recent years, and its training programmes have been recognized with nearly 100 awards.

Note to Editors: To see a trailer of “Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait,” please visit the Videotel YouTube channel. For more information about Videotel, please visit the Videotel website. For more information about KVH’s complete maritime solution, please visit KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband website. High-resolution images of KVH products are available at the KVH Press Room Image Library.

About KVH Industries, Inc.
KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 200,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. KVH is also a leading news, music, and entertainment content provider to many industries including maritime, retail, and leisure. Videotel, a KVH company, is a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training and e-Learning. KVH is based in Middletown, RI, with research, development, and manufacturing operations in Middletown, RI, and Tinley Park, IL. The company’s global presence includes offices in Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

Major Commercial Fleets Committing to New KVH Broadband Airtime Plans

09.12.16

KVH’s usage-based airtime plans provide the fastest possible mini-VSAT Broadband network speeds and innovative cloud-based bandwidth management tools

Middletown, RI – September 12, 2016 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), is driving a sea change in the way that global maritime fleets are using broadband at sea. The company’s usage-based airtime plans now represent a majority of users on KVH’s global satellite network, mini-VSAT Broadband, which continues to be the market share leader in maritime VSAT.1 

In recent months, many of KVH’s largest and most important fleet customers have chosen usage-based plans—including Open plans, the newest set of usage-based airtime plans offered by KVH. Examples include:

  • BW, one of the world’s leading global maritime groups, reached agreement with KVH to switch from an unlimited airtime plan to KVH’s Open plans for several LNG and LPG vessels that have TracPhone V11-IP systems onboard.
  • Seaspan, a leading independent owner, operator, and manager of containerships, opted for KVH’s Open plans for global connectivity for 35 vessels, which have  TracPhone V11-IP systems installed.
  • SMIT Lamnalco, a major European maritime operator, selected and is currently conducting a field trial of KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service with usage-based airtime plans for approximately 100 vessels. KVH’s TracPhone V3-IP systems will be used on the vessels.

KVH’s usage-based plans provide maritime customers with the fastest speeds on the network, regardless of how much data they have committed to on a monthly basis. This is in stark contrast to the standard practice in the maritime industry of offering speed-based plans, which deliver the fastest airtime speeds only to the customers buying the largest airtime packages.

“We are excited about the success of all of our usage-based plans, particularly the new Open plans,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, CEO of KVH. “When we introduced the Open plans nearly a year ago, our intent was to offer our customers the fastest possible speeds at reasonable prices while giving them control over their consumption with a set of new cloud-based bandwidth management tools. Both existing and new customers are adopting the plans, recognizing that they can control and manage costs, while fast data speeds enable them to operate more efficiently.”

A key reason that global fleets are selecting KVH’s Open plans, which can be used with KVH’s TracPhone V7-IP and TracPhone V11-IP, is the improved user experience of having consistent broadband data speeds of 3-4 Mbps. With competing VSAT service providers, research has shown that broadband connection speeds for a vessel that typically uses 50 GB of data per month can average only 160 Kbps, not much faster than outdated dial-up connections.2

“With KVH’s Open plans delivering speeds of 3-4 Mbps, we can provide the average VSAT customer with a user experience that makes the service they’ve been getting from other providers seem like something out of the digital stone age,” says Mr. Kits van Heyningen.

Transparency in bandwidth management is another of the keys to the success of KVH’s usage-based plans. To ensure that vessel operators know exactly how much broadband data a given vessel is using, KVH developed a set of network management services as part of the myKVH web portal. This powerful, secure tool is designed to provide a simple way for ship operators and managers to monitor each vessel’s data-usage status, allocate usage to individual users or tasks onboard, separate crew and operational data usage, and set email and SMS text alerts to help reduce the possibility of “bill shock.”

KVH’s complete maritime communications solution includes the mini-VSAT Broadband satellite network, which provides broadband connectivity to thousands of vessels worldwide; the TracPhone V-IP series advanced satellite communications antenna systems; the IP-MobileCast content delivery service for delivering operations and entertainment content to vessels via multicasting technology; leading news, sports, TV, movie, and music content from KVH Media Group; extensive maritime training programs from Videotel; and, the KVH OneCare comprehensive global support program. Taken together, the company refers to the complete solution under the Power of One banner.

Note to Editors: For more information about KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service with usage-based airtime plans, visit the KVH website. High-resolution images of KVH products are available at the KVH Press Room Image Library.

1 KVH is the world’s No. 1 maritime VSAT supplier as measured by vessels equipped with mini-VSAT Broadband service, according to NSR’s Maritime SATCOM Markets, 4th Edition, June 2016, and the COMSYS Maritime VSAT Report, 4th  Edition, March 2015.
2 “Understanding and Benefiting from Maritime Communications,” November 2015, Dualog.

About KVH Industries, Inc.
KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 200,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. KVH is also a leading news, music, and entertainment content provider to many industries including maritime, retail, and leisure. Videotel, a KVH company, is a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training and e-Learning. KVH is based in Middletown, RI, with research, development, and manufacturing operations in Middletown, RI, and Tinley Park, IL. The company’s global presence includes offices in Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

KVH, TracPhone, myKVH, IP-MobileCast, Videotel, KVH OneCare, and Power of One are trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. mini-VSAT Broadband is a service mark of KVH Industries, Inc.

The Digital Era: Ship To Shore

Leticia Diaz del Rio, Thuraya’s Global Business Manager for Maritime reveals how competition in maritime communication sparked by Thuraya is changing life at sea.

Operational efficiency, safety and crew welfare are being enhanced by technology that had previously seemed inaccessible to entire swathes of the market. Once there had been unchallenged and extortionate prices, which created a “take it or leave it” approach to sales. Now, there are opportunities to invest in equipment that had previously seemed out of reach for many players.

These days, digital and IT solutions play a crucial part in the environment on board more vessels than ever before experienced. From advanced navigation systems to permanent tracking devices, ships have never been so connected.

Today, the majority of vessels are finally enjoying the benefits of the digital era. This transformation has been energized by the availability of flexible plans, radically shorter installation processes and flexible contract periods. 

Europe’s Maritime Sector
According to Eurostat, the total gross weight of goods handled in EU ports was estimated at close to 3.8 billion tons in 2014. This makes Europe the most important exporter in the world and the second largest importer on the planet (behind the United States).


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The Netherlands has recorded the largest annual tonnage of maritime freight in Europe every year since 2010 when that nation overtook the United Kingdom and remains the largest maritime freight transport country in Europe. Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, and Amsterdam have maintained their positions as the four largest ports. Italy comes third and Spain follows in fourth; Germany has climbed to fifth place, narrowly overtaking France. It is plain to see why Europe’s established and mature marketplace is naturally one of the most important regions for the maritime sector and, in particular, for satellite communications.

Europe may have one of the lowest number of vessels addressable for satellite communications purposes (around 30,000). However, European ship owners and seafarers are well-versed in the benefits of technology and what makes life onboard a vessel easier, safer and more efficient.

Fishing Solutions
In 2014, there were 85,154 fishing vessels in Europe with a combined capacity of 1.6 million gross tons. The largest fishing fleets among the EU member states, in terms of power, were those of France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Spanish fishing fleets were by far the largest in number: close to double that of the United Kingdom.

Some fishing vessels are state-of-the-art and possess tremendous IT systems onboard. These vessels use weather applications to study the ocean floor (bathymetry). When fishing maps are combined with high resolution satellite images, skippers can estimate if a specific area shows a certain quantity of fish.

These solutions help locate the fish more quickly and, when combined with the appropriate tools, they help find the optimum route to the fish, thereby saving time and fuel. 

Satellite communication is also being used in buoys that are left adrift in the middle of the ocean. These buoys possess a satellite transponder and are equipped with a solar panel. Depending on the type of buoy, information such as the quantity of all fish or of a certain species will be sent to the vessel and to HQ. 

Such information is obviously extremely valuable for a skipper or ship owner. When combined with satellite images and weather information, the crew has the full picture of what is occurring at sea.

Nor are these buoys used exclusively for fishing. A satellite transponder simply provides the communication link, but the detail of information gathered depends on the solution developer. Some governmental organizations want to use the same system for scientific purposes to monitor ocean temperature and endangered species numbers, or even to detect tsunamis.

The Need For Data
In the past, seafarers chose the traditional circuit-switched voice option for ship to shore and shore to ship communication. It is not difficult to find customers who were generally charged around $400 for 10 minute calls to family and friends.


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At the start of the decade, the voice to data split was 80:20. Now it’s the other way round, with data very much the preferred choice.

The transition to data has forced satellite communication operators to become solution providers. This is due to the high level of expertise needed to optimize bandwidth and to deliver an overall better user experience.

Today, vessel owners prefer to opt for a data allowance that provides email, Internet, and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications that benefit crew.

In recent times, the cost of airtime over L-band and VSAT communications has dropped significantly, giving ship owners more choice and flexibility (depending on the type of vessel and level of IT integration).

Some customers prefer an exclusive voice line to the captain that allows them to speak to him directly whenever there is need to do so. Others require a local number that will help reduce the bill. This is a typical requirement for crew welfare as some ship owners want to offer the most cost effective solution for their crew. Some crew are given scratch cards to use to call family and friends from abroad at a local rate.

Data solutions are flourishing and have contributed enormously to the new onboard digital era. While data connectivity has opened the floodgates to innovate solutions, also ensured is that providers continue to create technology at affordable prices.

Remote Monitoring
Satellite M2M units can control and monitor individual containers while they are being transported. This is driving tremendous telemetry and M2M growth—installing cameras inside containers and then accessing the feed remote is not uncommon these days.

A monitoring system onboard a vessel is another interesting development—tracking devices connect to sensors that trigger a camera, which then records onboard activity. This footage can be viewed remotely by ship owners and maritime authorities. These systems are becoming more and more popular onboard specific fishing vessels.

Some solutions are designed specifically for fishing equipment. A sensor on the equipment when being used triggers a recording. This offers notable support in emergency cases, especially in the event of a pirate attack.

Security Measures
With access to modern technology on the rise, piracy attacks could become less frequent with the sharing of data from ship to shore. The future of marine safety and security lies in video surveillance systems that can transmit ‘real time’ information such as speed, course, location and fuel to the relevant authorities.


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This vital information can be shared directly from the ship to headquarters, and subsequently to surveillance vessels and marine patrol aircrafts,when ships are in distress. This is all made possible by satellite communications. While in the past this level of communication was extremely expensive and, therefore, unavailable to many, satellite operators have now created competitive offers to suit most budgets.

Satellite technology in the marine sector has come a long way over the last decade. Operators and developers continue to innovate by creating equipment and devices for the safety and security of crew.

As awareness of the new competitiveness in satellite technology continues to increase, of interest will be to see how far the digital era penetrates across the maritime sector and what else can be achieved to the benefit of all involved in the maritime sector.