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KVH Launches Next Generation Maritime Broadband Service and New TracPhone V7


New mini-VSAT Broadband service relies on spread spectrum technology to deliver fast, affordable Internet and phone service via 24" TracPhone V7

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., July 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Positioned to meet the exploding demand for affordable broadband service at sea, KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI) today introduced a new type of satellite communications service that enables small, 24" antennas to provide affordable, "always on" broadband data connections to vessels.

The new mini-VSAT Broadband service uses sophisticated spread spectrum technology to provide vessels with data reception rates as fast as 2 Mbps and data transmission rates as fast as 512 Kbps via a 24" KVH-developed marine terminal. The mini-VSAT Broadband service is fast, "always on", and available in a variety of pricing packages that offer significant cost savings for heavy data users when compared with other traditional data solutions available for commercial and leisure vessels.

To support this service, KVH, under a joint development agreement with ViaSat, Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT), developed the TracPhone® V7 two-way broadband satellite terminal. The system combines KVH's market leading antenna technology with ViaSat's novel ArcLight™ spread spectrum mobile broadband technology. KVH created the 24" diameter antenna, the smallest stabilized satellite antenna available for providing broadband data connections to vessels. A breakthrough in antenna design, the TracPhone V7 is as much as 65% smaller and 40% lighter than Inmarsat Fleet F77 antennas, and 85% smaller and 75% lighter than 1-meter maritime VSAT antennas. ViaSat developed a new maritime version of its ArcLight spread spectrum modem currently used on business jets and by the military. The two companies jointly integrated these key technologies to enable the TracPhone V7 two-way broadband satellite terminal.

"This is what broadband at sea was meant to be," explained Martin Kits van Heyningen, president and chief executive officer of KVH Industries. "In order to create a 'cable modem' experience at sea, we developed a 24" diameter, rugged antenna and integrated below-decks system that is well-suited for maritime markets and utilizes SES AMERICOM's satellite network. This combination allows us to provide broadband services to commercial, government, and leisure vessels that previously were unable to support high data rates due to their inability to accommodate large, 1-meter antennas. The seamless combination of TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service eliminates installation issues related to those larger antennas while reducing the cost and significantly improving the performance. Mariners will now be able to rely on a fully integrated solution that creates reliable broadband links for commercial quality communications that support critical needs like ship operations, business connections, and crew morale."

The TracPhone V7 hardware and the mini-VSAT Broadband service represent the first end-to-end package of hardware, service, and support available for maritime communications. The smaller antenna will save vessel owners tens of thousands of dollars in installation costs that often must be invested to reinforce superstructures and build custom platforms to hold the larger 250- 400 lbs antennas currently needed to receive and transmit maritime broadband signals.

"KVH and ViaSat are demonstrating market and technical leadership with their development of the TracPhone V7 terminal, the critical component that underpins this high-speed service for vessels as small as 50 feet in length. Enabled by ViaSat's ArcLight spread spectrum satellite networking technology, the mini-VSAT Broadband service fits into SES' strategy to identify new uses for Ku-band fixed satellite bandwidth," added Brent Bruun, SES AMERICOM's senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

KVH will serve as the sole point of contact for hardware and airtime sales, activations, billing, and technical support, eliminating the issues created when relying on multiple vendors and service providers. Available starting in September 2007, the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service will initially offer coverage of North and Central America along with the entire Caribbean. Later in the fall of 2007, coverage is scheduled to expand to include the North Atlantic shipping routes and all of Europe.

Key features of the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service include:

  • True broadband connections at sea with data rates as fast as 512 Kbps (maximum upload) and 2 Mbps (maximum download)

  • Affordable, flexible airtime subscription plans, including always-on, fixed price monthly options and per-megabyte plans with pricing up to 90% less per megabyte than existing maritime data services

  • Commercial-grade, 24" antenna that is 85% smaller by volume and 75% lighter than those used in existing 1-meter VSAT systems, making it practical for use aboard smaller vessels

  • Voice over IP telephone service with multiple, simultaneous lines

  • GPS-based, automatic system configuration and antenna skew adjustment to support seamless roaming between regions and among satellites

  • Integrated hardware, service, activation, and support for simple installation and operation

Visit for detailed information about the TracPhone V7 and the mini-VSAT Broadband service, coverage areas, hardware and service pricing, technology white papers, and more.

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 125,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on boats, RVs, trucks, buses, and automobiles. Winner of the prestigious General Motors Innovative Design Award, 2 CES Innovation Awards, 22 National Marine Electronics Association "Best Product" awards, the DAME Award in the Marine Electronics category, 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.

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 KVH's products and technology; anticipated innovation and product development; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ materially. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, competition presented by alternative maritime satellite communication products and services along with those discussed in KVH's most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.

KVH and TracPhone are registered trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. "What broadband at sea was meant to be" and "mini-VSAT Broadband" are service marks of KVH Industries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

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