Increased demand for the AgilePlans™ subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) program from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) has been the driving force behind the company’s growth in VSAT unit deployments during the first six months of 2018, a timeframe when the maritime industry has been increasing its drive toward digitalization.
KVH recently reported that the company has successfully shipped almost as many VSAT systems in the first six months of 2018 as they shipped in all of 2017. Further, KVH VSAT unit shipments from April to June were up 100 percent compared to the same timeframe last year and shipments are at an all-time record by far compared to any quarter in KVH’s 10-year history in the maritime VSAT business.
Throughout the maritime industry, commercial fleets are transitioning to digitalization to increase operational efficiency and allow for integrated IoT solutions. Vessel operators can leverage faster connectivity to take advantage of real-time data transfers to improve decision making for fuel optimization, route planning, and safety. Providing Internet access to seafarers for crew welfare and onboard training is also important in attracting and retaining today’s more digitally sophisticated crew.
The AgilePlans program—a CaaS subscription-based model offering KVH’s global connectivity, VSAT hardware, news, entertainment, and training content, free installation in select ports, and zero maintenance — is proving extremely attractive to global fleets. KVH’s recent AgilePlans customers include fleets with hundreds of vessels transiting the world’s oceans, from Supramax bulk carriers and dry-bulk carriers to chemical tankers and containerships.
The CaaS solution is particularly popular when paired with KVH’s newest antenna system, the TracPhone® V7-HTS, introduced in late 2017; nearly 80 percent of recent AgilePlans vessels selected the TracPhone V7-HTS.
This 60 cm, Ku-band antenna system is designed to consistently deliver global data download speeds of up to 10 Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps. The TracPhone V7-HTS was designed for KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM network, which late last year began using the award-winning IntelsatOne Flex platform, a global managed service designed to optimize bandwidth allocations and provide flexible coverage where it is needed. With the TracPhone V7-HTS, vessels can take advantage of cloud-based software programs, remote system monitoring, and data analytics in the pursuit of digitalization.
Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH CEO, said that he believes the recent success is a result of the broad appeal of the company's all-inclusive, no-commitment, AgilePlans program in the commercial markets combined with the firm's new high-throughput satellite global network and superior service and the solution is being selected across all segments, from small to large fleets.