MIDDLETOWN, RI -- March 4, 2001 -- KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI) announced today that its Tracphone® 25 and Tracphone 50 mobile satellite telephone systems have received operating approval from the Russian Register of Shipping and Morsviazsputnik certifying that the systems are suitable for use in Russian waters, including the Barents Sea. As a result, KVH Tracphone products may now be sold to and used by any Russian vessel operating in Russian territorial waters. This certification is also applicable to a number of Baltic countries that use Russian approvals as their operating standards.
“We began to work towards Russian certification of our Tracphone products after KVH Europe A/S received a large order for Tracphone 50 systems from Unicom, a Cyprus-based, Russian shipping firm,” explained Jim Dodez, vice president of marketing. “Earning this certification has opened a large, new market for KVH’s Tracphone products and the Inmarsat mini-M service they use.”
Approval for the Tracphone systems was provided by the Russian Register of Shipping, which oversees the registration, survey, and certification of all Russian vessels as well as their onboard equipment. Morsviazsputnik, the other certifying organization, is responsible for the approval of radios and other types of transmission systems as well as the issuance of operator certificates. It is also serving as an Inmarsat mini-M airtime and equipment provider.
“It was critical for us to earn these approvals if KVH was to enter the Russian and Baltic markets,” continued Dodez. “Without them, the equipment could be removed from Russian ships by the authorities. Vessels could also be denied permission to sail until new equipment was installed or the onboard equipment received approval. Now that both of the Tracphone systems are approved for use by Russian vessels and in Russian waters, we can aggressively pursue the wide range of opportunities now open to us in the Russian maritime marketplace. Our customers can also have complete confidence in the operation and use of these award-winning products throughout the Baltic and Russian territorial waters.”
Tracphone 25 and Tracphone 50 bring completely secure voice, fax, e-mail, and data services to vessels operating worldwide. Capable of supporting multiple phones through a PABX system, as well as a fax machine and computer, the Tracphone systems bring a complete communications center to sea. Near-global coverage is provided through the low-cost Inmarsat mini-M service, the world's most widely used satellite communications service. Tracphone 25 is suitable for vessels as small at 35 feet (10 m). Tracphone 50, with its larger 12.5 dB gain antenna, ensures unsurpassed performance in fringe areas of the mini-M spot beams, in latitudes above 60°, and where satellite elevation is low. The improved performance relative to other mini-M systems is important when sending faxes or data because if the line is interrupted the transmission need to be started from scratch. Each system has a fully stabilized antenna design that ensures mariners can always keep in touch regardless of the sea conditions.
KVH Industries, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative high-bandwidth communications products. Using proprietary fiber-optic and satellite antenna technology, the company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications. An ISO 9001-registered company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic manufacturing facility in Illinois, and a European sales, marketing and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.