APRIL 3, 2013 — KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) says that it has more than doubled the capacity of its global mini-VSAT broadband network in the Brazilian and African regions. The company's ongoing global network upgrade involves deployment of Variable Coding, Spreading, and Modulation (VCSM) technology provided by ViaSat, Inc., (Nasdaq: VSAT), KVH's partner in the mini-VSAT broadband network.
The Brazil and Africa upgrade is the third major capacity increase in less than five months, following upgrades in the Caribbean and EMEA regions in late 2012.
"Brazil and Africa are key regions for our customer base, as they are important for both the shipping and oil and gas industries," explains Brent Bruun, executive vice president of KVH's mobile broadband group. "The new VCSM technology enables us to handle transmissions much more efficiently, increasing the amount of data that our network can carry, which is important for both safety and business operations onboard. Thanks to our unique, end-to-end design, we can upgrade the software for our large base of fielded TracPhone V-series systems over the air. This is a future-proof solution that we will continue to improve, adding new features and network enhancements that provide tangible benefits to mini-VSAT Broadband subscribers."
Since launching the mini-VSAT Broadband network in 2007, says KVH, it has become the leading provider of maritime VSAT service. KVH's service differs from competing maritime VSAT services in its use of spread spectrum technology, which enables the use of antennas that are 85 percent smaller than competing products while still providing fast, high quality service. KVH is also the only maritime satellite service company that designs and manufactures the onboard terminals, owns the Earth station equipment, leases the satellite capacity, manages the network, and provides round-the-clock global after-sale support for a total end-to-end solution.
Smaller antennas and fully integrated below-decks equipment are generally less costly and faster and easier to install, offering significant savings to companies deploying broadband technology to a fleet of vessels.
KVH's business model is another key part of the company's growth strategy. Rather than investing in its own satellites, the company leverages the readily available commercial FSS satellite capacity covering the world's oceans, provided by industry leaders like Intelsat, Eutelsat, SES, and SkyPerfect JSAT. Currently, the mini-VSAT Broadband network uses 17 leased transponders to cover the globe with a unique hybrid network including both C-band and Ku-band coverage. As KVH's customer base grows, the company plans to lease additional capacity covering exactly the areas of the world where it is needed.
KVH says that its 1 meter, dual-mode TracPhone V11 antenna seamlessly switches among C- and Ku-band frequencies as easily as the 60 cm TracPhone V7-IP antennas and 37 cm TracPhone V3 antennas switch among Ku-band satellites.
"Brazil's importance as an oil and gas producing region is increasing rapidly, and the global shipping industry is in dire need of reliable communications throughout the African region to help combat piracy and ensure the safety of crew members," said Mr. Bruun. "KVH's solution provides outstanding communications for all of these mariners, with downloads as fast as 4 Mbps and uploads as fast as 1 Mbps, as well as crystal clear Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone lines with optimized service and prioritization of applications. Expanding network capacity in these regions is the most recent illustration of our commitment to delivering services that mariners need, when and where they need them, in the most convenient way possible."
With more than 3,000 onboard terminals sold, mini-VSAT Broadband service is the world's fastest growing, most popular maritime VSAT solution, according to three independent industry research reports published in 2012 by Euroconsult, NSR, and Comsys.