KVH’s TracNet 100 Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV Service to Provide RV Travelers & Truckers with Affordable Internet Access on the Move
MIDDLETOWN, RI – March 21, 2006 – “On the road” doesn’t have to mean “out of touch” ever again as affordable, high-speed Internet access and MSN® TV service in recreational vehicles and trucks will soon be a reality thanks to KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI), and Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) TV Services Division. Thanks to two-way, in-motion access to the versatile MSN TV service, passengers in RVs and trucks will be able to enjoy such features as e-mail, instant messaging, and Internet browsing right on their vehicle’s television.
KVH’s TracNet™ 100 Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV Service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player, will provide in-motion access to web browsing, Microsoft® Windows Media® Player, MSN Mail and MSN Messenger, digital photo viewing, MSN Video, and MSN Radio. A wireless keyboard offers complete control of the system while broadband EVDO data services, with data rates ranging from 400 Kbps to 2.4 Mbps, and an external, amplified antenna for extended range provide two-way, mobile connections. The result will be the first in-motion product to offer RV owners, truckers, and passengers easy-to-use, high-speed Internet access on the television screens already installed on vehicles. KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will also include WiFi output to provide Internet connectivity to any WiFi-enabled laptop or other product.
“Today’s consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they’re on the go in their vehicles,” said Sam Klepper, general manager for the TV Services Division at Microsoft. “With the availability of MSN TV service on KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver, consumers will now be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy digital entertainment where their travels take them.”
“There is clearly a demand in the RV and trucking industries for mobile access to live media ranging from satellite TV to broadband Internet,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s president and chief executive officer. “High-speed, mobile Internet access will enable travelers to use a huge range of online services, including maps and directions, weather reports, and tourist information. Plus, access to Internet-based services like online shopping and bill-paying will be an invaluable feature for RV owners who enjoy extended periods of time on the road and away from home. E-mail and instant messaging will permit everyone enjoying their time on the road to stay in touch with family, friends, and co-workers. KVH looks forward to working with Microsoft on the TracNet 100 to leverage the TV screens found in most RVs and trucks, together with MSN TV technology, to offer travelers an affordable, reliable source of two-way, in-motion Internet access.”
RV and truck owners and passengers will be able to enjoy in-motion connections to a variety of MSN communication, information and entertainment services. The high-speed connection, offered by an EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) data modem that KVH is integrating into the Mobile Internet Receiver, will leverage existing broadband data services offered by several major cellular companies. Connection speeds for EVDO service are similar to residential DSL broadband service, with a maximum speed of 2.4 Mbps and typical speeds of 400 Kbps to 700 Kbps. An external, amplified antenna will provide extended range for vehicles driving outside the typical range of the EVDO service. When EVDO is unavailable, the system will automatically switch to standard 1xRTT data service, which is available in most cellular coverage areas. 1xRTT has a maximum upload and download speed of 144 Kbps, and typical speeds of 50 Kbps to 80 Kbps.
By using EVDO services for connectivity along with built-in WiFi output, the vehicle is turned into a mobile hot spot. As a result, passengers will be able to surf the web while cruising down the highway or sitting in the campground using WiFi-enabled laptop computers, PDAs and other devices using an Internet browser, e-mail application or instant messaging tool.
The hardware and service are expected to be available for purchase in mid-2006. Pricing for the TracNet 100 Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will be announced at a later date.
Additional details regarding KVH’s mobile Internet solutions are available online at http://www.kvh.com/kvhinternet/.
About MSN TV
Based in Mountain View, CA, MSN TV is a product group within Microsoft’s MSN division that develops easy-to-use technology services for people to get connected and stay connected to the people around them. By connecting to a television and existing phone line or broadband connection, MSN TV service subscribers can surf the Web, send and receive e-mail, create instant messages, view digital photos, and enjoy streaming media using world-class MSN services such as MSN Messenger and MSN Search.
Formerly WebTV®, MSN TV service was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 and renamed in July 2001 to better reflect the natural synergies between the WebTV service and the vast array of Microsoft and MSN resources. In October 2004, MSN TV unveiled the MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player. More information on MSN TV and the MSN TV service offerings can be found at http://www.msntv.com.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 440 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on November 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About KVH Industries, Inc.
Middletown, RI-based KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communication systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 100,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on boats, RVs, trucks, buses, and automobiles. Winner of the prestigious General Motors Innovative Design Award, CES Innovation Award, 21 National Marine Electronics Association “Best Product” awards, and a finalist for the Automotive News PACE Award, KVH’s mission is to connect mobile customers with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their home and offices. Complete information about KVH’s mobile satellite TV, communications, and Internet systems is available at http://www.kvh.com.
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of the proposed products and technology; anticipated innovation and product development; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, the degree of consumer acceptance of mobile Internet services, as well as those risk factors discussed in the parties’ most recent quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC. The parties assume no obligation to update their forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments. Microsoft, MSN, Windows Media, WebTV and Windows Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. KVH and TracNet are official trademarks of KVH Industries in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.