KVH Industries Inc. says its new TracPhone V11 system makes faster yet more affordable global broadband service at sea a reality thanks to the global C-band coverage
added to KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network and the introduction of the
dual-mode, 1-meter TracPhone V11 C/Ku-band terminal.
“Earlier this summer, we completed the rollout of our
mini-VSAT Broadband service, which uses three global C-band satellite transponders
to overlay the coverage of our worldwide Ku-band network to provide a fully
global, unified broadband service,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief
executive officer, in a company press release. “Our dual-mode TracPhone V11
will access our global network, seamlessly switching between C- and Ku-band
service, to deliver fast, affordable maritime VSAT connectivity almost anywhere
The TracPhone V11 antenna is 85 percent smaller than those
of older global C-band VSAT systems. Because of its ability to automatically
switch to Ku-band service and the mini-VSAT Broadband network’s extensive
Ku-band coverage, the TracPhone V11 avoids limitations imposed by regulations restricting
the use of C-band maritime terminals near coastal nations, KVH says. The
TracPhone V11 was granted full U.S. Federal Communications Commission approval in
July, including a first-time special provision allowing the dual-band system to
be used on vessels smaller than 300 gross tons (the limit for competing
U.S.-licensed maritime C-band systems).
Like the new TracPhone V7-IP KVH recently introduced, the TracPhone
V11 uses KVH’s new 3-axis antenna design that can track satellites anywhere in
the sky, and features fully integrated below-decks equipment that includes the
new IP-enabled antenna control unit — the CommBox-ACU — creating a complete,
end-to-end solution for managing both IT functions and communications on board
the vessel, KVH says.
The TracPhone V11’s integrated design vastly 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, KVH says. The new system also makes the advanced
features of KVH’s network management solution, the CommBox Ship/Shore
Network Manager, available to every TracPhone V11 customer, without the need to
invest in additional hardware.
For the vessel owner’s IT manager, the TracPhone V11 provides
extensive functionality to help manage onboard networks remotely. The system itself
is very easy for the crew to operate thanks to its web browser-based
user interface that also includes an iPhone app, KVH says.
The CommBox-ACU provides a full suite of onboard services
optimized for satellite communications, KVH says, including crystal clear VoIP
calling, Internet cafe, crew calling, managed e-mail, secure file delivery, and
remote network access. The TracPhone V11’s end-to-end design enables the system
software to be updated over the air using either the mini-VSAT Broadband
service or cellular service using a GPRS modem built into the system’s antenna.
This remote access enables technicians working in KVH’s support center to
remotely diagnose and troubleshoot any issues.