KVH Industries, Inc., (KVHI), announces AgilePlans relationship with established customer German shipmanager Briese Schiffahrt, which has rapidly grown its installed base over the last two years from 5 to 38 vessels with plans to continue. The flexibility of KVH’s no-commitment AgilePlans® program and the reliability of the global VSAT services in supporting critical operational usage and crew communications were cited by the company as reasons for selecting KVH.
“For us, it is very important to work with a company that is able to provide the ease and flexibility of paying monthly without any commitment worries,” says Holger Börchers, IT manager for Briese Schiffahrt. “It shows that KVH understands the commercial maritime market and the fact that fleet sizes change.” He adds: “KVH AgilePlans provides full coverage of all fees in one price and we have found working with KVH to be seamless.”
The arrangement was facilitated by Heiko Höfer, managing director of Dualog Nordic GmbH, KVH’s airtime service provider in Germany. “Our success here is owing to the close-knit relationships of trust, support, and dependability that have been forged in the local market over many years,” says Thomas Plüschau, KVH regional sales manager for Germany. “These strong and positive working relationships, combined with the power of AgilePlans, enables us to help drive change, modernization, and business in critical shipping hubs.”
Briese Schiffahrt manages a fleet of project cargo vessels, bulk carriers, and containerships, and also performs crew management for more than 2,000 seafarers. The shipmanager values KVH’s satellite connectivity services for the improved communications between office and vessels and for the ease of managing crew accounts, according to Mr. Börchers. “Every morning, our crew program is synchronized and when a seafarer steps on a KVH-equipped vessel, it automatically recognizes the crew member and provides the appropriate Internet access,” he says. “We know that we need to offer good connectivity in order to get and keep good crew members. Our plan is to equip every vessel that is sailing on waters more than 50 miles from the coast with VSAT.”
Nearly all of the 38 KVH-equipped Briese Schiffahrt vessels use the TracPhone® V7-HTS, a 60 cm diameter satellite communications antenna system designed to provide data speeds up to 10 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. Two vessels use the TracPhone V3-HTS, a 39 cm diameter system featuring data speeds up to 6 Mbps down/2 Mbps up, and one vessel uses the TracPhone V11-HTS, a 1-meter diameter system featuring data speeds up to 20 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. Mr. Börchers adds, “Briese will build a number of new vessels during the next years and all of them will be equipped with a KVH V11-HTS. The very first of this new generation is planned to be delivered in mid-November.”
The AgilePlans program also includes the NEWSlinkTM service, which enables seafarers on the Briese Schiffahrt vessels to access daily news content from around the world, an important aspect of crew welfare. The NEWSlink service includes more than 65 national seafarer news dailies in more than 20 languages, plus monthly special interest editions.
KVH AgilePlans is a Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) subscription-based model offering a comprehensive solution for maritime satellite communications. Without a costly capital outlay, the AgilePlans service eliminates barriers to upgrading to VSAT or switching from a competitor. It includes high-speed connectivity with unlimited email and texting via KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network, TracPhone HTS-series hardware, installation in as many as 4,000 ports and locations, cybersecurity protection, NEWSlink print and TV news content, KVH OneCareTM maintenance, and no long-term commitment, all for one monthly fee.
KVH’s HTS network utilizes Intelsat’s FlexMaritime service to deliver global multi-layered coverage, enabling vessels to see multiple HTS and wide beam satellites for maximum availability of broadband service.