KVH signs agreement with ViaSat

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) has formed a new 10-year agreement with ViaSat, Inc., (Nasdaq: VSAT) to begin the global rollout of the mini-VSAT Broadband satellite communications service, it reported in a recent statement.

Together with the compact 24-inch KVH TracPhone V7 antenna, the mini-VSAT Broadband service is already offering regional Voice over IP telephone service and Internet access as fast as 512 Kbps (upload) and 2 Mbps (download) at fixed monthly rates to mariners throughout North America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, and Europe.

Under this agreement, KVH and ViaSat are planning to roll out an exclusive global network offering access to KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband service for maritime use with airtime revenue to be shared between the two companies. As part of the coverage expansion, KVH has agreed to acquire satellite capacity from Ku-band satellite operators as well as purchase three new regional satellite hubs from ViaSat. These hubs will use ViaSat's ArcLight spread spectrum mobile broadband technology and be operated by ViaSat. As the rollout continues, either KVH or ViaSat will work to establish additional regional hubs and satellite capacity. Over the course of the 10-year agreement, KVH and ViaSat also expect to implement future enhancements to the mini-VSAT Broadband spread spectrum maritime services and related products.

"Expanding our mini-VSAT Broadband service to provide seamless global coverage of maritime broadband communications is one of our top strategic priorities," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH's chief executive officer. "Our new service offers customers predictable fixed airtime rates that are significantly less expensive and much faster than alternative maritime communications solutions. We feel the lower airtime rates combined with antennas that are 85 percent smaller and significantly less costly than traditional VSAT products will help the market grow beyond the small number of very large vessels currently using maritime broadband services."

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, according to Ian Palmer, KVH's executive vice president of satellite sales.

“With the TracPhone V7 and our planned expansion of mini-VSAT Broadband service, KVH will offer leisure, commercial, and government vessels around the globe a rugged, powerful satellite communications technology that brings significant advantages over traditional VSAT in size, data speed, and airtime costs while still being compact and practical enough for smaller vessels," Palmer concluded.

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