FEBRUARY 12, 2018 — Last year, KVH rolled out an innovative pricing model to the maritime communications market, offering its TracPhone V7-HTS antenna equipment and its AgilePlans subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS). The idea is now gaining traction with customers. German ship manager E.R. Schiffahrt, Hamburg, selected KVH’s TracPhone V7-HTS antenna equipment and the AgilePlans subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) program to bring fast, global connectivity to its container and dry bulk vessels. Installations for the first 11 vessels have begun, with plans for a total of up to 60 vessels throughout 2018.
“We chose KVH for the fast data speed, the reliable data management, the global coverage, and our experience with KVH as a trusted and proven professional service provider,” says Christoph Werner, director of marine & quality for E.R. Schiffahrt. “We see the very nature and flexibility of KVH’s AgilePlans program as a great benefit to our business.”
The AgilePlans program provides equipment and airtime for one monthly airtime fee, with no commitment; installation at select ports and maintenance costs are included. KVH, a mobile tech innovator, designed the TracPhone V7-HTS for the mini-VSAT Broadband network, which recently added high throughout satellite (HTS) capacity. The 60-cm TracPhone V7-HTS provides download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, enabling vessels to benefit from marine applications designed to improve operational efficiency.
“Our close and long-term relationship with E.R. Schiffahrt was the foundation for moving forward to work together on satcoms,” says Rob Parkin, maritime sales director for KVH. E.R. Schiffahrt has been a customer of KVH’s CommBox network management service, as well as a subscriber to other KVH services, including NEWSlink daily newspapers for seafarers and Videotel maritime training programs.
Thomas Plueschau, KVH’s sales manager for Germany, has played a key role in coordinating the initial AgilePlans order installed at the Port of Hamburg. AgilePlans includes free standard installations at select ports around the world, important for a global ship management company such as E.R. Schiffahrt. “We are thrilled that our AgilePlans program with extensive coverage, fast data speeds, and proven data management, combined with the new TracPhone V7-HTS system, were ideally suited to E.R. Schiffahrt’s fleet needs,” says Plueschau.
KVH introduced the AgilePlans program for Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) in 2017 as an innovative maritime mini-VSAT solution for commercial fleets. This subscription-based business model is designed to address challenges faced by the maritime industry, such as the capital expense of new equipment and the unpredictability of fleet size and business conditions.
In addition to including installation and technical support, onboard hardware, and high-speed airtime, the AgilePlans monthly fee also includes the IP-MobileCast content delivery service for daily NEWSlink content for crew welfare; a package of 20 Videotel maritime training videos; delivery of chart and weather updates via CHARTlink and FORECASTlink; and real-time vessel tracking.