Shipmanager ER Schiffahrt is installing new systems to upgrade satellite communications across its fleet for improved ship connectivity and crew welfare. It has contracted KVH Industries to provide VSAT hardware and connectivity services for a fleet of up to 60 container ships and bulk carriers.
KVH will install its TracPhone V7 antenna systems that can be used on high throughput satellite (HTS) Ku-band services. It will also deploy its AgilePlans connectivity-as-a-service on ER Schiffahrt’s managed vessels.
So far, 11 ships have been upgraded with KVH’s 60 cm diameter TracPhone V7-HTS antennas. These use KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network, which has HTS capacity from Intelsat’s EpicNG and Sky Perfect JSAT constellations of satellites, KVH chief executive Martin Kits Van Heyningen told Marine Electronics & Communications.
The AgilePlans programme provides equipment and airtime for one monthly airtime fee, with no commitment. Ships can have download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps using the TracPhone V7-HTS antenna.
In addition, the AgilePlans monthly fee also includes the IP-MobileCast content delivery service for daily NEWSlink content for crew welfare; a package of 20 Videotel maritime training videos; delivery of chart and weather updates via CHARTlink and FORECASTlink and real-time vessel tracking.
ER Schiffahrt needed to upgrade to VSAT on these ships to secure faster data speeds for better operational communications and crew welfare.