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First Customers Praise KVH's New Generation of Satellite Communications Systems


MIDDLETOWN, R.I., May 21, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

New KVH Tracphone F77 Connects Ocean-going Vessels to Internet and Corporate Intranets at Super-fast ISDN Speed

As it began its passage from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to St. Petersburg, Russia, the 165-foot motor yacht Princesa Valentina carried with it a remarkable new communications tool -- the Tracphone(R) F77 from KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI). The KVH Tracphone F77 is fully compatible with Inmarsat's new Fleet service, which provides high-quality voice connections as well as data connections at speeds up to 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). The Princesa Valentina is one of the first vessels to install the new Tracphone F77, which KVH began shipping in May. Already, the versatile system is providing benefits to the Princesa Valentina and her crew.

"We cruise worldwide and are currently halfway through our second circumnavigation," explained Peter Thompson, captain of the Princesa Valentina. "We absolutely must have a global communications system. As a result, our communications bills were usually huge. In January alone, we spent more than $21,000, in part because we were pulling data over our mini-M system. I've been looking for a system to combat those rising costs. Now, with Fleet's mobile packet data service, mobile ISDN, and mini-M voice channels, the Tracphone F77 offers everything we need."

Tracphone F77 offers five communications options to suit a variety of requirements:

-- pay-by-the-bit mobile packet data service (MPDS);
-- pay-per-minute mobile Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN);
-- affordable mini-M voice service;
-- high-speed, optimum quality voice service; and
-- 3.1 kHz audio.

Designed for short-burst data transmissions, MPDS is perfect for receiving e-mail, logging onto and working within a company Intranet, or browsing the web. And with its pay-by-the-bit pricing, users are charged only for the amount of the data sent and received, not by connection time. As a result, a vessel can remain connected via e-mail or the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no additional cost. The high-capacity mobile ISDN channel provides a constant data stream at speeds as fast as 64 Kbps, making G4 fax service, video conferencing, and transmitting large files and images, fast and easy. ISDN usage is charged on a per-minute basis. The 3.1 kHz audio channel provides a high-speed analog connection for G3, 14.4 kHz fax and the capability to connect a personal computer at 28.8 Kbps through the internal modem in the PC.

"We are definitely using all of the capabilities of Tracphone F77 and the Fleet service," continued Captain Thompson, currently in his eighth year in command of the Princesa Valentina. "It offers the best voice quality I've heard and sending a fax works far better than any marine fax system I've ever used. Sending a fax using other systems is like a dark art but using Tracphone F77 is like sending a fax from your office. We also provide e-mail access for every crew member and high-speed Internet access for ship's business and the vessel's owners."

With its fully stabilized antenna and high-impact dome, Tracphone F77 is equipped to withstand the rigorous conditions of life at sea. The Tracphone F77 package includes the antenna, a transceiver, and a telephone handset and cradle. The system's transceiver serves as the hub for all on-line communication via the ship's telephone networks and fax machines. Connected to an IP router, Tracphone F77 can link all shipboard computers to onshore web- based systems, including e-mail and Internet services. With its "always on- line" MPDS capability, Tracphone F77 can turn a ship into a fully operational node in a company's worldwide network.

"Our goal at KVH is to offer a comprehensive suite of satellite communications systems along with world-class service," remarked Ian Palmer, vice president of satellite sales. "Tracphone F77 is the latest addition to our versatile Tracphone family and a fitting companion to our award-winning TracVision(R) line of satellite TV antennas."

According to Captain Thompson, KVH's strategy is working. "From sales to service to installation, KVH's support and products couldn't have been better, absolutely outstanding."

KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, defense navigation, and direction sensing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. 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.

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