Thursday, April 4, 2013

KVH doubles capacity of maritime mini-VSAT satellite broadband network

KVH Industries, Inc. announced that it has increased the capacity of its global mini-VSAT Broadband(SM) network in Brazil and Africa by more than twice the original capacity.

The Company is currently upgrading and expanding of its global mini-VSAT broadband network using Variable Coding, Spreading, and Modulation (VCSM) technology from its partner company ViaSat, Inc. This is KVH's third major capacity increase in the last four months. It has already finished upgrading its networks in the Caribbean and EMEA regions last year.

The 2007 launch of its mini-VSAT Broadband network allowed KVH to secure the lead in the maritime VSAT service market. Its unique service leverages spread spectrum technology to deliver fast and high-quality service through antenna that are 85% smaller than rival products. The compact antenna design and fully integrated belowdecks equipment usually prove to be cheaper, faster, and easier to install, allow companies to save significant sums when deploying satellite broadband technology aboard their fleets.

In addition, KVH is the sole maritime satellite service company that offers a total end-to-end solution. It designs and builds its own onboard terminals, owns the Earth station equipment, leases satellite capacity, manages the VSAT network, and provides after-sale support on a 24/7 basis all around the world.

KVH leases capacity from commercial FSS maritime satellites operated by Eutelsat, Intelsat, SES, and SkyPerfect JSAT. The Company's mini-VSAT Broadband network leases 17 transponders for world coverage. The resulting unique hybrid network combines C-band and Ku-band coverage, allowing KVH products ranging from the 60cm TracPhone V7-IP antennas and 37cm TracPhone V3 antennas to the 1 meter, dual-mode TracPhone V11 maritime VSAT solution to seamlessly switch between the frequencies. The Company plans to lease additional capacity in the areas with expanding customer bases.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Orbit introduces new maritime stabilized VSAT product line

Orbit Communication Systems, a world-leading provider of satellite communication, tracking and telemetry, mission-critical solutions and communications management systems, recently introduced its new and innovative maritime stabilized VSAT product line called Ocean TRx.

The company’s new line features two products -- OceanTRx 4 and OceanTRx 7 -- both designed to improve maritime communication. OceanTRx 4 supports 1.15m stabilized maritime antenna system configurations in multiband frequencies, which include X, Ku and Ka bands, and BUC power level, and works even under environmental interferences like bumps and shocks. On the other hand, OceanTRx 7 supports 2.2m stabilized maritime antenna system configurations in the same multiband frequencies as Ocean TRx, excluding X, but in addition to C. OceanTRx 7 also cuts down shipping costs because it takes up 40 percent less desk space and weighs 30 percent less than other similar systems.

"OceanTRx series brings the maritime world into the future," Orbit CEO Ofer Greenberger said in a company statement. "Featuring a variety of configurations, frequencies and power capabilities, the platforms address a wide range of maritime markets from oil & gas to cruise, commercial shipping, and naval. As we enter the Ka-band age, OceanTRx is the ultimate solution for maritime satellite communications enabling smooth migration to future high-speed Ka services for the entire Ka range. By overhauling our mechanical chassis and electronics, leveraging our long-standing reputation for innovation together with our corporate focus on service and customer satisfaction, we are committed to making maritime communications easier and better."

Aside from the OceanTRx series, the company also produced a RailTRx VSAT product line for broadband communications of inter-city, regional and high speed trains. RailTRx supports a variety of stabilized train antenna system configurations in Ku and Ka bands, features an excellent RF performance and still operate even under environmental electromagnetic disturbances.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OmniAccess secures additional satellite broadband capacity from Telesat

OmniAccess has signed a satellite capacity contract with international FSS operator Telesat for additional Ku-band satellite broadband capacity from the Telstar 12 satellite.

Telstar 12 covers Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. OmniAccess will use the capacity from the Telesat-operated satellite to deliver maritime satellite broadband services in the Mediterranean and Europe's inland waterways.

OmniAccess has also decided to upgrade its satellite Teleport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain with the new X7 series modem from iDirect. The teleport will use the X7 to access the new capacity from Telstar 12.

A provider of VSAT services and a network integrator to boot, OmniAccess places itself at the disposal of the wide-ranging consumers of the luxury super yacht sector.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Nordic Tankers migrates fleet over to Inmarsat XpressLink

Following extensive sea trials, chemical tanker operator Nordic Tankers has begun switching its fleet to the XpressLink hybrid wireless-VSAT service offered by Inmarsat.

Nordic Tankers evaluated competing satellite communications solution. Eventually the company tested XpressLink aboard the 5,800 dwt chemical tanker Nordic Nelly at sea. The reliability of the fully-integrated Ku- and L-band solution persuaded Nordic to switch to the Inmarsat service.

The Nordic Tankers fleet is comprised of almost 130 vessels.

XpressLink automatically shifts between FleetBroadband and VSAT depending on which system offers the best coverage at any given time and place. The Inmarsat-managed solution offers broadband speeds up to 768kbps and a reliable, high-quality service anywhere in the world for a fixed monthly cost. 

XpressLink can also upgrade to Inmarsat Global Xpress when Inmarsat’s superfast Ka-band satellite broadband network becomes commercially available from 2014.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Astrium Services survey says more seafarers want, need Internet connectivity at sea

Astrium Services has just released the results of a recent crew communications survey. According to the survey, a growing number of seafarers consider on-board Wi-Fi connectivity to be indispensable. They are even willing to pay for connectivity so that they can access social media and other popular web destinations on their mobile devices -smartphones, tablets, and laptops- while travelling aboard maritime vessels.

Astrium Services commissioned the Crew Communications 2012 Survey in order to obtain the latest data data on crew communications requirements. Stark Moore McMillan served as the Company's consultants during the survey.

The survey investigated the availability of communications for crew during the third and fourth quarters of 2012. It questioned 960 Filipino seafarers, of 88 percent of whom where general crew and the rest being officers.

According to the survey, 68% of seafarers are now able to use some form of communication service most or all of the time when at sea. In addition, nearly the entire crew can use the shipboard SATCOM system to make voice calls on occasion.

More and more seafarers are requiring access to data communications these days. The survey white paper opines that owners will experience greater success in recruiting and retaining crew if they provide free or low-cost Internet access aboard their ship through broadband connectivity and Wi-Fi connections.

In addition, the survey notes that there is a growing deficit in qualified officers since 2005. To both increase their chances of recruiting from the limited pool of talent and improve staff loyalty, shipping companies need to offer strong crew welfare packages that include connectivity.

Fortunately, hybrid networks with VSAT and MSS can now provide reliable, cost-effective connectivity required by shifting patterns of communication usage. Satellite communications makes it easier for shipping companies to provide such connectivity.

Recommended additional reading:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

KVH reaches 3000 total TracPhone terminals for mini-VSAT Broadband network

KVH Industries proudly reported the successful shipment of the 3,000th TracPhone terminal that comprises its mini-VSAT Broadband network.

The Company's mini-VSAT Broadband network delivers affordable and critical offshore data connections to the crew members of a quarter of a million commercial, government, and leisure vessels. It taps fourteen Ku-band transponders to provide broadband Internet by satellite services throughout the entire northern hemisphere as well as the southern hemisphere's major continents.

KVH delivers a complete, end-to-end high-speed satellite Internet solution for offshore connectivity through the mini-VSAT Broadband network. The Company not only designs and builds the onboard TracPhone terminals and antennas, but it also owns the Earth station equipment, leases the satellite capacity, and serves as the network manager. Its terminals use satellite antenna that are 85 percent smaller than the norm thanks to spread ViaSat spectrum modem technology.

Monday, January 7, 2013

ViaSat ships 500th VR-12 ultra-small VSAT Ku-band antenna

In delivering the five hundredth unit of its VR-12 Ku-band airborne ultra-small satellite communications antenna with integrated ArcLight technology, ViaSat has achieved a new milestone in the military and general aviation markets.

ViaSat designed its VR-12 SATCOM antenna for service aboard aircraft that could only accommodate onboard communications equipment limited in size, weight, and power. Despite its compact size and light weight, the VR-12 is capable of handling media-rich applications, which require advanced broadband SATCOM capabilities.

Furthermore, ViaSat designed a “hatch-mount” version of the VR-12 airframe system. This version is an integrated antenna system and radome package that can be dropped into the escape hatch of a C-130 transport aircraft.

Other versions of the VR-12 installations are tail mounts for planes such as the PC-12 (U-28) and commercial Gulfstreams, and a fuselage mount used for MC-12W aircraft in government service.

According to Paul Baca, the General Manager for ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband, the VR-12 proves that larger antenna designs are not always the way to go. GM Baca says that the ultra-small 30-centimeter aperture of the VR-12 accomplished numerous successes in the installation of Ku-band satellite communications systems. He explained that ViaSat was designing a Ka-band antenna version of the VR-12 to handle traffic from the growing number of Ka-band satellites.