We all knew this was slated for current quarter, but it's nice to see it in print anyway:|
KVH's Tracphone(R) 50 First Available Inmarsat-3 Global Marine Antenna
September 9, 1997 08:14 AM
MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Tracphone(R) 50, the newest marine antenna from KVH Industries KVHI , has been approved by Inmarsat(TM) to use its latest generation of satellites for two-way fax, voice and data transmission. Inmarsat, a consortium of 79 member countries and the only global mobile satellite communications provider, supports more than 60,000 users worldwide. KVH designed Tracphone 50 to work with the Inmarsat-3 constellation, the consortium's new mini-M satellites, in providing reliable communications at sea or in coastal waters. Tracphone 50 is one of the smallest, least expensive stabilized satellite antennas in the world, and the first one approved by Inmarsat that is immediately available to commercial and pleasure mariners for mini-M communications.
"Inmarsat's approval of Tracphone 50 is an important step towards realizing our goal of making worldwide, secure communications accessible and affordable to a broad range of mariners and other mobile users," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH president and CEO. "This approval augments a marketing agreement we have with PTT Telecom's Station 12, an Inmarsat service provider that is a member of the Netherlands-based KPN Group. It also enhances KVH's position as a leading supplier of marine communications equipment."
To ensure Tracphone 50 met its technical standards, Inmarsat participated in recent sea trials conducted by KVH. Even when subjected to extreme navigational maneuvers during the trials, the KVH system provided the high- quality digital voice, fax and data transmission that is critical for worldwide marine satellite phones commonly exposed to severe sea and weather conditions.
A key feature of Tracphone 50 is its ability to maintain focus on Inmarsat-3 satellites even while a vessel is experiencing pitch, roll and yaw up to a 45-degree range. KVH accomplished this by designing internal rate gyros and a compass that measure and compensate for vessel motion. Signals from the four recently launched mini-M satellites that comprise Inmarsat-3 are 20 times stronger than Inmarsat's first generation of satellites and they provide 2,200 voice and data channels. Consequently, the system functions with much smaller and less expensive antennas than previously and service rates are significantly lower.
Since the Inmarsat-3 satellites cover areas that land-based cellular systems do not, Tracphone 50 provides seamless communications over most of the earth. With the Inmarsat-3 constellation already launched, Tracphone 50 service now encompasses most of the world's ocean areas except for some rarely traveled, remote regions.
To facilitate system implementation for users, KVH has joined with Station 12 in marketing Tracphone 50 and Station 12's satellite communication service to Inmarsat-3. The Tracphone 50 system and Station 12's Altus service packages are being co-marketed under the terms of a collaborative understanding.
Bundling KVH's compact hardware and Station 12's inexpensive service expands the potential Tracphone 50 market to encompass a more diverse user group that now includes owners of commercial and pleasure vessels under 70 feet. The radome measures about 19 inches in diameter and 19 inches in height and weighs 30 pounds, approximately half the size of traditional global marine Inmarsat M satellite systems. Tracphone 50 is priced at approximately one-third the cost of traditional systems, and Station 12's marine satellite service rates begin at $2.40 a minute, considerably lower than the rates of other services such as Inmarsat A, B and M. In addition, KVH has a distribution network of more than 200 dealers in North America and an international sales network.
Inmarsat initiates and directs, from concept to completion, implementation and daily management of the world's only network of global marine satellites. It is recognized internationally for satellite service innovations such as Inmarsat-3.
PTT Telecom Netherlands' Station 12 was the first supplier to offer global voice, data and fax coverage with the Inmarsat A, B and M systems. KPN Group, the parent organization, is a publicly held company.
KVH Industries produces digital navigation systems and mobile satellite communications products for commercial, military and marine applications. The company was founded in 1982 and has headquarters in Middletown, RI (USA) and a European office in Hoersholm, Denmark. SOURCE KVH Industries, Inc.