Continued from page 37)
The new system will utilize the extremely high frequency Ka-band, which is already in use for
satellite TV broadcasts. Inmarsat will be the first company to utilize the Ka-band for global cov-
erage and integrated commercial satellite communications.
The Ka-band uses a narrower beam than Ku-band and is more powerful. Ka-band offers
higher bandwidth rates, which the company says will translate to lower cost airtime. The com-
pany says the system will be able to utilize dishes as small as 15 inches and predicts the Ka-band
will become the band of choice in the coming years.
Hardware and airtime costs will continue to be a major factor for recreational boaters. Expect
to see smaller antennas costing less than larger antennas and an increase in functionality across
the board. In other words, you’ll get more for your money, but it won’t cost much less.
According to Jim Dodez, vice president of marketing and strategic development for KVH, “Just
like on land, people have an insatiable desire for increased connectivity. People are so used to
being on line for uploading files, using Facebook, sending email and dialing into the office. They
want to be able to do this not only to stay in touch with family and friends, but also to run their
businesses from their boats. Owners of small yachts have demanded that satellite communica-
tions costs be brought down to earth, and we’re doing just that.”
As for industry growth, Atul Chawla, product marketing manager for Sea Tel, said, “I expect
this market to have good growth ahead as the need for communications continues to increase and
new innovative products are launched.”
According to industry analyst Northern Sky Research, the maritime broadband business is
expected to grow from its current level of about $800-900 million to $2 billion over the next few
Continued from page 31)
things, but not everything. They want the
flexibility to add items as they become more
proficient with their boat. Once we get a proj-
ect plan spelled out, that drives the type of
equipment that gets installed.
What happens if the customer spec-
ifies a device that’s not NMEA certified?
Generally, we wouldn’t install
it. We spend a lot of time educating customers
about non-NMEA-certified equipment. We
talk them out of it. We show them compara-
ble equipment from a functionality stand-
point that is NMEA certified. It’s been a suc-
cessful strategy 100% of the time.
About the author
Peter A. Robson is the former editor of
magazine. He is a veteran sailor whose most
recent offshore adventure was crewing on the winning boat during the 5,600-mile, non-stop, China to Vic-
toria, Canada leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. He currently writes about everything
marine—with an emphasis on technical articles—for boating magazines around the world.
Continued from page 35)
What’s the process from there?
We draw up a project plan
based on the parameters of the boat. We lay
the system out on the computer to get a mate-
rials takeoff and pricing so the customer
knows what he’s working with. When all of
the equipment for the project is in the shop,
we build it first on the bench. If we know we
need a 20 foot wire run that goes between the
chartplotter and black box, for example, we’ll
make sure we run a 20 foot cord on the bench
between the two.
The company offers two VSAT products, the TracPhone V7 mini-VSAT and the
new TracPhone V3. Both antennas are lightweight and have built-in GPS and
gyros for satellite acquisition and in-motion stabilization. They also use signal-
strength satellite tracking.
With a dish size of 24 inches, the V7 was the first maritime VSAT antenna on
the market to measure less than a meter in diameter. The V7 weighs 60 pounds.
KVH has integrated ViaSat’s patented ArcLight spread-spectrum technology
into both of its mini-VSAT broadband antennas. Spread spectrum deploys a
lower-powered signal over a wider spectrum, which means the marine antenna
doesn’t have to be as precisely aimed, and therefore a smaller dish can be used.
This allows smaller VSAT antennas to receive satellite transmissions with the
speed and reliability of older, 1 meter antennas.
The V7 can be used on vessels as small as 65 feet and offers shore-to-ship data
speeds of up to 2 mbps and ship-to-shore speeds of up to 512 kbps and includes
two separate voice lines out of the box. It retails for $32,995, including modem
and antenna control unit.
The Next Step TracPhone V3 is the world’s smallest maritime VSAT antenna,
measuring 14. 5 inches ( 37 cm) in diameter and weighing in at 25 pounds ( 11 kg).
The V3 offers 2 mpbs ship-to-shore and 128 kbps shore-to-ship speeds. It retails
for $16,995, including modem.
Continued from page 46)
“Of course, a technology-driven company
like ours has to stay on top of upcoming
trends, and make the most of these,” said
Detar. “Mobile computing, social networking,
user-generated content, these are all good
examples and will part of our future plans.
What will distinguish Jeppesen, however, is
our dedication and ability to implement these,
and other opportunities not even on most
people’s radar yet, while maintaining our
long-term vision. In the end, our goal will
always be to add value to the boating experi-
ence, both on the water and off.”
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