Using its 24-inch KVH TracPhone V7 antenna and mini-VSAT broadband service, KVH Industries Inc. is offering voice over IP and Internet service to mariners at fixed monthly rates.

Under a 10-year agreement, KVH will acquire satellite capacity from Ku-band and three new regional satellite hubs from ViaSat. As a result, KVH anticipates seamless global coverage, lower airtime rates and faster Internet speeds.

Vessels will get 512 Kilobits per second (Kbps) upload speeds and 2 Mbps download speeds.

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Offering fixed airtime rates and antennas that are 85 per cent smaller (and less costly) than traditional VSAT products, KVH also hopes to expand its appeal to smaller vessels that don’t currently subscribe to broadband service.

“The TracPhone V7 hardware and the mini-VSAT Broadband service represent the first end-to-end VSAT hardware, service, and support package available for maritime communications,” Ian Palmer, KVH executive VP of satellite sales, stated in a company press release. “We’re able to offer a ‘cable modem-like’ experience at sea.’”

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