Launch of Tracphone 25 StrengthensKVH Role As Mobile Satellite Communications Leader|
February 11, 1998 04:37 PM
MIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 11, 1998--Today's launch of the compact Tracphone(R) 25 telephony system by KVH Industries, Inc., KVHI further solidifies the company's position as the leading manufacturer of mobile satellite communication products for the world's marine markets. Tracphone 25 is the most recent, and the smallest, member of a mobile telephone product line that KVH is continuing to expand. The new baby of the family is the smallest available Inmarsat mini-M system to utilize a 3-axis, gyro-stabilized system that maintains global marine communications by providing consistent satellite tracking. Inmarsat's mini-M satellites provide the broadest and most powerful worldwide coverage for voice, fax and data transmission and reception available to mariners. KVH is the only organization with two Inmarsat mini-M systems on the market as the company also produces Tracphone 50, the first system in the world to earn mini-M type approval and be immediately available to users after its introduction in September 1997. "Preliminary response to Tracphone 25 has been enthusiastic, and we anticipate that sales will contribute significantly to communications revenues during 1998," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, president and CEO. "Each KVH initiative that enhances our current mobile satellite telephone and television product lines is a strategic step towards our long-term goal of creating systems for the promising high-bandwidth market." Tracphone 25 measures only 10 inches in diameter and is suitable particularly for any boat where space is at a premium. It delivers superior voice quality, data and fax transmission and provides better fringe area coverage than comparable Inmarsat mini-M units, all at a competitive price. In its preliminary debut at the recent major boat shows in New York City and London, Tracphone 25 received an enthusiastic response for both its size and technical features. The larger Tracphone 50 is the company's highest-gain Inmarsat system, and meets the expanded needs of commercial vessels and pleasure craft 35 feet or longer. From pleasure boats to commercial vessels, and modest sizes to behemoths, KVH's proprietary 3-axis gyro stabilized antennas have earned widespread recognition from mariners for maintaining satellite contact even during heavy seas. While Tracphone 25 and Tracphone 50 owners can obtain Inmarsat service through any provider, KVH offers users a turnkey activation option. Through an agreement with Station 12, the world's largest Inmarsat service provider, KVH can pre-activate a unit for Altus service and save owners the effort. Any active SIM card can be utilized with the systems to ensure security and accountability. Altus service packages available through Station 12 provide global use for as little as $2.70 a minute, including all long distance charges. It is the combination of KVH's telephone and television product lines that have established the company as a number one provider of mobile satellite communications systems. KVH mobile television systems also have made their marks in the marine industry, beginning with TracVision(R), the first such system in the world to achieve approval for delivering DIRECTV(R) and USSB(R) television programming. In another ground-breaking move, the company recently launched TracVision II, the world's smallest fully stabilized satellite television system. The smaller size of TracVision II makes it ideal for vessels 35 feet and longer, and it provides, up to 100 miles off the US coastline, the same high-quality video and sound as TracVision. The advanced tracking capability of TracVision II also positions the system for receiving the data broadcast transmissions that now are being delivered by DBS service providers over their networks. "KVH is further solidifying its leadership position in satellite communications with several new mobile marine products," said Kits van Heyningen. "TracVision Galaxy for DIRECTV service in Latin America will debut tomorrow at the Miami Boat Show. GM Hughes Electronics is expected to activate its new Galaxy satellite system during the first quarter of 1998, and we plan to begin shipping soon after. We also are developing TracVision 45 for Europe to further expand our global reach into the mobile satellite market." KVH Industries utilizes its proprietary fiber optic, autocalibration and sensor technologies to produce navigation and mobile satellite communications systems for commercial, military and marine applications. The company has headquarters in Middletown, RI, (USA) with offices in Illinois, Florida and Denmark.