107 Seaspan vessels roll-out mini-VSAT

Container operator Seaspan has completed the implementation of KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband satcom system on all 107 managed vessels in the Seaspan global fleet, the companies have announced.

The majority of the ships will use KVH’s TracPhone V7-HTS system, a 60 cm Ku-band VSAT antenna offering data speeds of up to 10 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The equipment will be provided under KVH’s AgilePlans monthly subscription service, which includes the antenna, airtime, content, and technical assistance for a single fee.

Vessels not installing the V7-HTS system will roll-out the TracPhone V11-IP system, a 1-metre dual band antenna that provides access to both the C- and Ku-band satellites in the mini-VSAT Broadband network.

KVH has recently introduced a new HTS variant of this 1-metre antenna system, designed to deliver data speeds as fast as 20 Mbps down/3 Mbps up on a ‘high-speed data channel’, with 8/2 Mbps down/up on the standard vessel data channel. The TracPhone V7-HTS also features a similar dual-data channel configuration.

“We chose KVH for the ability to have a superior end-to-end solution from one provider, which can be customised as per our business requirements,” said Rajesh Gopinathan, Process Improvement Manager at Seaspan.

“KVH is one of our partners in helping our business succeed. We see their entire solution as critical to our business operation, providing everything from connectivity to 24/7 support, and assisting us in continuously improving the features and functions as our business requirements change.”

“We also appreciate the fact that KVH, working together with our IT department, were able to complete 60 installations in less than 12 months, which is an important factor for our global fleet.”

Delivery to the ships included KVH’s CommBox Network Manager, used to segregate communications for operations and crew, to manage e-mail servers, firewalls and least cost routing, and to facilitate remote IT management.

Seaspan has also subscribed for KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service to provide news, sports, entertainment and operations content to the vessels. The content delivery system will be used to send the company’s monthly video messages to all of its crews serving at sea, using KVH’s YOURlink service.

“Close communication between vessel and shore is a key aspect of successful ship operation, to keep seafarers abreast of current initiatives and updates in the company,” said Torsten Holst Pedersen, Executive Vice President of Ship Management at Seaspan.

“We recognise that video is a particularly effective format for this communication, and we plan to use it increasingly as a communication channel, both to deliver dynamic content and to conduct calls. We are already making use of it in our monthly Operational Update video, sent via YOURlink, in which we highlight accomplishments, convey safety info, and discuss other critical topics.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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