Jordan Vargas Joins KVH Industries as Global Head of Human Resources


Industry veteran will direct human resources initiatives across company and diverse business units

Middletown, RI – December 22, 2016 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that Jordan Vargas has joined the company as vice president of human resources, assuming responsibility for more than 600 employees in locations around the world.

“We are delighted that Jordan has joined KVH, bringing his wide-ranging experience at both large and small companies,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “With his background at companies involved in technology services, manufacturing, and consumer products, he is extremely well positioned to direct our efforts. We’re looking forward to putting his experience and creativity to work in continuing to build our world-class team.”

Most recently, Mr. Vargas was the vice president for technology and network operations at Time Warner Cable in New York City, where he led efforts to improve productivity and retain skilled talent. Before that, he held high-level human resources positions with companies in New York and New Jersey.

“I am thrilled to join KVH, especially at this exciting time in its global growth and expansion. I look forward to playing a role in bringing talented people to this exciting company and continuing its tradition of excellence,” says Mr. Vargas. “KVH is known for its innovative spirit and commitment to its customers, and it is an honor to join the team.”

Mr. Vargas holds a bachelor’s of science in industrial engineering from Pratt Institute, in New York, and a master’s of business administration from the University of New Haven, in Connecticut.

Note to Editors: Additional information about the company is available at the KVH website, and at the KVH Press Room.

About KVH Industries, Inc.
KVH Industries leading manufacturer of solutions that provide global high-speed Internet, television, and voice services via satellite to mobile users at sea and on land and is a leading news, music, entertainment, and training content provider to many industries including maritime, retail, and leisure. KVH Industries is also a premier manufacturer of high-performance sensors and integrated inertial systems for defense and commercial guidance and stabilization applications. 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, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

Teams selected!

Six new CubeSat missions selected for next cycle of Fly Your Satellite!

17 May 2017

Six university teams have been selected for the second edition of the Fly Your Satellite! programme after an intensive week at the Selection Workshop, held at ESTEC from 1st to 5th May. The CubeSats evaluation and selection were carried out by a CubeSat Evaluation Panel, consisting of ESA experts from a range of disciplines. 

The Fly Your Satellite! programme released a call for proposals on 20 December 2016 for its second edition. Since then, teams from many universities have been working hard to prepare proposals which were reviewed by the CubeSat Evaluation Panel.

The selection process culminated at the Selection Workshop in the first week of May, where eight teams, shortlisted as the best proposals among all applications submitted to ESA, presented their CubeSat missions. During the same week, the students were offered a number of lectures offered by ESA specialists,  encompassing a wide variety of topics such as Assembly Integration and Verification,  Structural Design,  Spacecraft Telecommunications,  Space Debris Mitigation, PCB manufacturing, and many more. The CubeSat teams were furthermore offered tours of ESTEC facilities including ESA’s test centre, the Mechanical Systems Laboratory and the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory. 

Student teams during a tour of the facilities at ESTEC

On Wednesday 3rd May 2017 all eight CubeSat student teams presented their missions, and all them did an outstanding job in presenting their missions and responding to the questions raised by the ESA specialists. All their missions were very interesting, and all them deserved to win the  participation in the Fly Your Satellite!  programme.   Although the decision was not easy for the ESA evaluators due to the excellent quality of all 8 CubeSat proposals, finally the following six teams were selected:

The 3Cat-4 team is composed of students from the University Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain and the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya.Their mission aims to demonstrate capabilities of nanosatellites for Earth Observation using GNSS-R and L-band microwave radiometry as well as for Automatic Identification Services (AIS).

This CubeSat comes from the University of Montpellier, France and will monitor the LEO environment and perform in-orbit testing of a radiation monitor and a single event latch-up experiment. 

This project is a joint collaboration between University College Dublin, Ireland and Queens’ University Belfast, Northern Ireland. The team aim to  test a novel gamma-ray detector module and an experiment with thermal coatings for spacecraft. 

This CubeSat project is the first from Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal.  The CubeSat team will use their CubeSat to test an ADS-B receiver that aims to track aircraft in flight.

The LEDSAT team are from Sapienza – University of Rome in Italy, and plan to improve and test new technologies for tracking of LEO satellites using LEDs.

This CubeSat is the first from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Their CubeSat will obtain position and attitude data for the validation of atmospheric models and space object re-entry prediction software.

The ESA CubeSat Evaluation Panel at the team presentations

Now that teams have been selected, they will begin to work on preparing for the Critical Design Review based on instructions from ESA, and their technical documentation will be reviewed by ESA professional specialists in different areas of expertise. The programme will then continue into Phase D, where teams will begin or continue to build their satellites, and perform functional tests.

In recognition of the great work of the two CubeSat teams that unfortunately could not be selected on this occasion for full participation in the programme, they will still be offered support by ESA Education, in a manner that will be agreed with the teams.

Training opportunities will also be opened for students engaged in CubeSat projects at earlier stages, and will focus on the methodology to conduct conceptual, preliminary and detailed design phases of CubeSat projects. Public announcements will be made when those opportunities open. 

Congratulations to all teams selected!

More information about the Fly Your Satellite! programme can be found here

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Thuraya confirms 100% connectivity for Kenyan elections

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 19 December 2016: Thuraya Telecommunications Company today confirmed 100% transmission results for recent local elections in Kenya held in remote county assembly wards, enhancing the credibility of the electoral process. The success rate followed the deployment of satellite coverage, extensive training and support work provided in conjunction with Airtel Kenya.

الثريا تتبرع بالكتب لمساعدة الأطفال السوريين في لبنان على العودة إلى الدراسة

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، 15 ديسمبر 2016: تبرعت شركة الثريا للاتصالات لعدد من الفصول الدراسية في لبنان وبالأخص التي تساعد الأطفال السوريين، بمجموعة من الكتب التي تساعدهم على العودة إلى الحياة الدراسية المنتظمة.

الثريا أفضل مشغل للأقمار الصناعية لعام 2016

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، 14 ديسمبر 2016: حصدت شركة الثريا للاتصالات جائزة أفضل مشغل للأقمار الصناعية خلال فعاليات حفل توزيع جوائز ” مجلة تيليكوم ريفيو” للعام 2016 والذي أقُيمت النسخة السابعة منه تحت شعار “كل ما يتعلق بالشبكات الذكية”.

يأتي فوز الثريا بهذه الجائزة نتيجة لإنجازاتها العديدة خلال العام والتي تنوعت بين طرح عدد من الأجهزة المبتكرة، والتوسع في أسواق جديدة بالإضافة إلى إعلانها عن منظومة الجيل الجديد من أقمارها الصناعية والتي تؤهل الشركة لتصبح مزود الخدمات المفضل للاتصالات الموحدة.

Vroon Extends 140-plus Vessel Contract for KVH mini-VSAT Broadband Solution

Mark Woodhead


Successful five-year contract for VSAT broadband connectivity is extended, and more vessels to be provided with KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service and KVH OneCare services

Middletown, RI – December 14, 2016 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), has announced that Netherlands-based Vroon has extended its contract for KVH’s maritime satellite communications solution, choosing the mini-VSAT Broadband network for connectivity services onboard more than 140 Vroon vessels.

“In working with KVH during the past five years, we realized that having a reliable communications partner is essential to the smooth operation of our vessels and welfare of our crews,” says Rob Frenks, Vroon’s group ICT manager. “We also witnessed firsthand the advantage of the IP-MobileCast entertainment packages in enhancing crew welfare. KVH offers us a total and affordable managed service that brings together proven hardware and a fully integrated global network management system that will support our business for years to come.”

The multi-year contract also includes KVH’s IP-MobileCast service for news, sports, movie, and TV delivery, and preventive maintenance checks to ensure peak performance on all fielded systems as part of the KVH OneCare program.

“We are extremely pleased that Vroon has chosen to extend its contract with KVH, as it demonstrates the importance they place on affordable and reliable broadband connectivity for their vessels, as well as their high regard for improving crew welfare,” says David Tropp Hag, KVH’s director of sales for the EMEA region. “The contract extension also includes support for all TracPhone systems through eight years of operation, a testament to KVH’s outstanding design and rugged construction which, in this challenging business environment, is something that Vroon continues to value highly.”

The first installations of KVH’s 60 cm diameter TracPhone V7 systems onboard Vroon vessels took place in early 2011, after Vroon conducted a stringent selection process involving 22 different satellite communications providers. Today, more than 140 Vroon vessels employ the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband system onboard. In addition, Vroon was one of the first subscribers to KVH’s IP-MobileCast entertainment packages, providing crew members onboard tankers and livestock carriers daily updates of news and sports content, as well as new selections of popular movies and TV episodes.

The Vroon vessels covered by the contract are also equipped with the KVH CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager. CommBox provides a suite of network management tools including web compression and acceleration, least-cost routing among multiple communications services, prepaid Internet access, and remote access for Vroon’s shore-based IT personnel.

“Our mini-VSAT Broadband service provides the most complete end-to-end solution for the maritime market’s rapidly expanding communications needs,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s CEO. “We design and manufacture the hardware, provide the global connectivity and network management solution, offer a flexible variety of customer support options, and license and deliver a wide variety of onboard content, all in an affordable way. Vroon clearly sees the value of this comprehensive solution, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as one of our key customers.”

Note to Editors: For more information about KVH’s complete maritime satellite communications solution, the “Power of One,” visit the mini-VSAT Broadband website. High-resolution images of KVH products are available at the KVH Press Room Image Library.

About Vroon
Vroon, an international leader in seagoing transportation services and engineering and support solutions, is based in the Netherlands and operates a global fleet of more than 200 vessels. Vroon is active in business segments including livestock carriers; offshore-support vessels; offshore installation, maintenance, and engineering services; dry-cargo vessels; container vessels; product/chemical tankers; asphalt/bitumen tankers; car carriers; and vessel-management services.

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. VideotelTM, a KVH company, is a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training, and eLearning. 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, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

KVH, IP-MobileCast, KVH OneCare, TracPhone, CommBox, Power of One, and Videotel are trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. mini-VSAT Broadband is a service mark of KVH Industries, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

Year in Review 2016: Part IX – Thuraya Telecommunications Company

Source: SatMagazine
By Bilal Hamoui
Chief Commercial Officer, Thuraya

The finalization of FUTURA, Thuraya’s nexgen constellation plans; launching the world’s only dual mode, dual SIM satellite phone; and the arrival of the company’s first terminal to work in North America made for a memorable, disruptive and fascinating year.

For Thuraya, 2016 will always be remembered as a year of innovation, paving the way for a transformative and revolutionary future.

Thuraya’s future—FUTURA. Thuraya will become a “one-stop shop” for L-band, HTS, IoT, and GSM, offering an unparalleled portfolio of mobile products, applications and services. Thuraya will extend its geographical reach, move into new market sectors and launch new services and devices.

While continuity is a  ssured with both existing satellites, the L-band network will be enhanced significantly with the planned launch of nexgen from 2020. Thuraya will focus on delivering high mobility services both in existing core and newly accessible markets and will innovate, disrupt, and redefine across land, sea and air.

Earlier this year, the firm promised to unveil initiatives that will push the innovation boundaries in satellite and terrestrial convergence further, and that promise was kept. The company launched the best satellite phone in the world, the Thuraya XT-PRO DUAL, which delivers unprecedented flexibility, transforms usability and choice, and meets rising demand for convergence.

XT-PRO DUAL users can move seamlessly in and out of terrestrial coverage, enjoying connectivity everywhere. Opt for a Thuraya SIM card and a GSM card, or select any combination of SIM cards that meets users’ needs. 

The new handset’s ‘Always On’ capability allows users to effortlessly alternate between calls, ensuring they are always reachable on both the satellite and terrestrial networks. Callers can be contacted on their GSM number even while on an active satellite call – and vice versa.

2016 was also the year of M2M for Thuraya. The company’s dedicated M2M service and terminal became available over North America for the first time. In partnership with ViaSat, Thuraya is now bringing real-time IP satellite communications to a greater share of the M2M market. As ViaSat’s vice president and general manager, mobile satellite services, Phil Berry, said, “Thuraya’s FT2225 M2M device running over the reliable ViaSat L-band service will serve a broader class of markets.”

Launching the world’s most rugged vehicular terminal was another proud achievement at Thuraya. The IP Commander, purpose-built for military, government, civil defense and emergency response teams, is engineered to enable mission-critical voice and data connectivity in the remotest of areas within minutes. Offering IP data speeds of up to 444 kbps, this is the only MIL-SPEC vehicular terminal capable of achieving streaming IP speeds of up to 384 kbps as well as user-definable asymmetric streaming functionality.

Thuraya ventured into the connected wearables sector as well, joining forces with WiCis-Sports and achieving groundbreaking positive results. With the WiCis-Sports app running on a Thuraya SatSleeve+ on expeditions to Nepal and K2, climbers and their families enjoyed a more secure experience by resting assured their vital information was continuously being checked. 

New agreements and partnerships have opened up exciting new markets and ensured that no one is left behind. The company is a pioneer in the Maldives, with Ooredoo, providing fisheries and anglers with satellite connectivity. Fishing operators can access monitoring systems and services with Thuraya SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot devices and data packages. 

In Vietnam, the company’s first service agreement is helping VNPT VinaPhone establish satellite services across the country. Vietnamese customers can now access the mobile satellite services and maritime communication services they need. Thuraya’s XT-Lite handsets and maritime communication solution SF2500 are being introduced to consumers, government agencies and enterprise customers. Costs are being driven down by an average of 40 percent, offering unprecedented value.

Thuraya’s reach across the shipping routes of Europe have been extended, as well. As Satnews editors put it, “Into the Black Sea goes Thuraya with a new service partner.” With NBS Maritime, the firm’s first ever service partner in Bulgaria, Thuraya advanced its regional maritime strategy into the Black Sea where an alternative to the status quo is clearly needed.


Thuraya’s satellite capabilities were demonstrated at the firm’s primary gateway office in Sharjah to a delegation from NASA who on a visit organized in conjunction with the UAE Space Agency. NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Badri Younes, welcomed this “great opportunity to see just how much Thuraya has grown in recent years. Thuraya has historically provided many agencies with tremendous service support, and we at NASA would like to work together closely too.” 

Saving and improving lives is in Thuraya’s DNA. This is the company’s purpose and makes a difference when knowing that what the firm accomplishes has such great impact on people’s lives in other parts of the world. This humbling privilege and responsibility unifies Thuraya as a team and as an organization. In 2015, the company met the call for help that followed the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

Thuraya support continues and the company is still heavily involved in providing communications to humanitarian organizations working on CSR programs for rebuilding remote communities, schools and hospitals. Similarly, in 2016, the ITU deployed 30 XT handsets and five of Thuraya’s IP terminals in flood-stricken Sri Lanka. 

These are momentous times for Thuraya. New announcements, services, products and updates are looked forward to during 2017, product, services and technologies that will break barriers and will further advance innovation. 

Thuraya will start the New Year with the nexgen system RFP on schedule, taking the firm ever nearer to the vast breadth of opportunities to be delivered through the company’s FUTURA program. 

CEO Samer Halawi Interview with MSUA Mobility News

Source: MSUA Mobility News

Thuraya CEO Samer Halawi talks to Catherine A. Melquist, President, MSUA (Mobile Satellite Users Association) Mobility News about the development of the Middle East, Asia, Africa and European regional markets, FUTURA – Thuraya’s next generation capability, the convergence of satellite and GSM and a New Wave of Internet of Things.

Catherine:  Thuraya is an early leader in the satellite mobility market and there’s been a lot of recent press about your plans for taking the business forward.  Before we get into the details about your news, let’s talk about Thuraya’s start in the mobility market.
Samer:  Thank you, Catherine. It’s helpful to set the scene, while we prepare ourselves for the next chapter in the Thuraya story with our next generation capability plans.
Thuraya is a leading MSS operator and a global telecommunication provider. We deliver data and voice connectivity across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe – 161 countries and two thirds of the globe. The sectors we serve include maritime, government, energy and broadcast media, alongside humanitarian NGOs. Our network covers two thirds of the globe by satellite, while our unique GSM roaming capabilities (and we have roaming agreements with 371 terrestrial operators in 175 countries) give us global coverage.
Thuraya’s story can be divided into three phases, if we include moving forward with FUTURA, our next generation capability plans, as the third of these. We began in 1997, as the first MSS operator in the Middle East, founded by regional telecommunications operators aiming at complementing terrestrial coverage. We operate from our head office in Dubai and our Primary Gateway technical facilities in Sharjah, and we have another office in Singapore. We are set to add another office at the start of 2017, in Washington D.C.
Our two current satellites were launched in 2003 and 2008, by which time we had already established our reputation for top quality, innovative handsets.
The second phase of the company’s history began in 2011, which was also the year I joined as CEO. We introduced an innovative product pipeline; established a government service business that has already resonated well in North America and Europe; and revamped both the distribution network and the sales force.
Thuraya has consequently grown faster than the MSS market. In fact, we outstripped the industry with CAGR rates of 8% across 2011-2015, double the 4% rate of the industry.
Our emphasis on building momentum and delivering innovation has driven growth and differentiation. Thuraya’s portfolio includes the revolutionary Thuraya SatSleeve; the XT-LITE and XT-PRO; and the Orion and Atlas IP terminals, to name but a few. We have also just launched Thuraya XT-PRO DUAL, the world’s first dual mode, dual SIM satellite phone. This product embodies the concept of convergence, like no other.
This year we also entered the M2M market, establishing a presence in North America in partnership with ViaSat.
We are now set to build on what has been put in place since 2011. This next stage will take us beyond current resource limitations, delivering the next generation of satellite capability, which will be transformational.
Catherine:  There’s a lot of innovation taking place in the mobility market.  How do you see Thuraya fitting into the new services being offered to the market?
Samer: We are very much focused on our own roadmap – our FUTURA plans, which will expand the scope of the business, and the markets in which we can operate. Thuraya will take the lead in future satellite mobility innovation. We intend to deliver a blueprint for success, building a whole new business around our existing distribution platform, licenses, experience and strong user base.
Our roadmap will generate a comprehensive portfolio of L-band, High Throughput Services, Terrestrial, and New Wave Internet of Things services, creating an unrivalled one-stop shop. This will enable us to address new growth markets that need the mobility, capability and coverage that is only available through L-band or HTS services – or in many instances through a combination of both.
We have already shown a real understanding of the value of easy, convenient access to satellite connectivity for end users. As we expand and diversify on an unprecedented scale, Thuraya will become the provider of choice for unified connectivity. New generation L-band and complementary HTS form the basis from which to innovate, disrupt, and redefine. With new markets becoming accessible to us, new technological capabilities will deliver an unparalleled portfolio of mobile products, applications and services.
Catherine:  As and MSS operator, what’s your perspective on the convergence of MSS and FSS? 
Samer:  Thuraya’s focus is on satellite and GSM convergence and we see four drivers for future growth: need, technology, products and business models.
Let’s look at those one at a time. In terms of need, there are many compelling reasons for ubiquitous constant connectivity. Vast water masses will always be inaccessible to terrestrial operators, and 100% GSM coverage is simply not economically feasible. M2M solutions require satellite technology given the need for ubiquitous coverage across borders; and that same satellite technology is needed to alleviate last mile bottlenecks. Furthermore, the rising number of man-made and natural disasters elevates the need for complementary solutions.
Then there’s technology. Convergence was once a matter of fixed and mobile within the terrestrial world. Thuraya goes beyond that, complementing terrestrial by operating a GSM-based satellite network. We give customers the same experience they get on terrestrial mobile, and we give them roaming. We offer full network convergence with GSM, which gives you uninterrupted connectivity. Our SIM cards and those of terrestrial operators are interchangeable, and work on each other’s networks.
That brings us to the third factor: the products themselves. This is where innovation is so powerful. We ensure our products are built with the customer’s needs in mind, and as such we are able to offer capabilities and a form factor that are unparalleled in the industry. In addition, there’s the BYOD concept for smartphones which we invented with the Thuraya SatSleeve, and recently improved with Thuraya SatSleeve+ and Thuraya SatSleeve Hotspot.
During our annual product development forum this November, an event during which we promote innovation and disruption with our partner community, we announced the launch of the world’s first dual mode, dual SIM satellite phone. The Thuraya XT-PRO DUAL is convergence in your hand. It completely bridges the gap between satellite and terrestrial communications, allowing users to move seamlessly in and out of terrestrial coverage to enjoy connectivity in any location. Moreover, it is packed with a number of innovative features such as tracking and geo-fencing, amongst others. So we have taken the next step in terms of what satellite phones can deliver.
Finally, it’s about the business model. For us, that we work with each of our business partners to create the best possible offering for their customers. Partnership and flexibility are key.
Catherine:  Of all the drivers for future growth, what do you think is most imperative for your target markets?
Samer: There is considerable growth potential for MSS, with plenty of opportunities to address in the mobility market, and changing dynamics to consider. The need for communications is getting ever greater – both for people and for machines. Mobility itself has never been more important, and we are entering a new era of connectivity for ships, aircraft and human beings. Then there’s the explosive growth in solutions and apps. Sadly, both man-made and natural disasters are on the rise, too. Also, while the market may generate lower ARPUs, you will see far more devices, and an increasing consumer interest.
Catherine:  What market segments is Thuraya looking towards for future business growth?
Samer: As we look ahead to the step change that FUTURA will bring, you will see an extensive flow of launches of new and innovative devices, terminals and modules, for enterprise, government and consumer markets. Enterprise land, consumer and government form the basis of our current approach. But FUTURA will triple the size of the addressable market, and this permits us to adopt a more expansive yet fully focused strategy.
Thuraya’s next generation system will focus on delivering high mobility services in core and new markets. These will be complemented with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services for bandwidth-hungry applications in land, maritime and aeronautical markets. The constellation will be supported by highly advanced platforms for the provision of “new wave” IoT and content services, with multicasting and broadcasting capabilities.
This will enable Thuraya to address new growth markets requiring the mobility, capability and coverage that is uniquely available through L-band or HTS services, or in many instances through a combination of both. In short, we will develop an integrated offering of voice and data products to target carefully selected, high-growth sub-segments.
It’s exciting. We’re adopting the mentality and the energy – the sheer determination – of a startup, and adding that to the momentum and experience gained from the last 19 years. Crucially, we can offer service continuity while planning for future evolution, and that’s a vital message of reassurance to all our existing partners.
Catherine: Many thanks Samer for taking time to provide insights into Thuraya’s business and plans.  We appreciate your longstanding membership with MSUA and look forward to learning more as your plans for FUTURA continue to evolve.