More Fleets Turn to KVH’s IP-MobileCast Service for Competitive Advantage



New and expanding customers cite cost containment and improved recruiting and retention as among the business benefits

KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq:KVHI), announced that numerous global fleets have subscribed to or expanded their deployments of its IP-MobileCastTM content delivery service in recent months, reflecting the increased importance that ship managers are placing on the competitive advantages of a focus on staffing optimization.

Major fleets that have selected the IP-MobileCast content delivery service recently include:

  • Navigator Gas, operator of a fleet of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tankers with worldwide clients, selected IP-MobileCast for 28 vessels.
  • OSG Ship Management, one of the world’s leading energy transportation services companies, has chosen IP-MobileCast for more than 20 vessels.
  • Wisby Ship Management, operator of a global fleet of tankers, is providing 18 vessels with IP-MobileCast content delivery.
  • Klaveness Ship Management, an Oslo, Norway-based global fleet operator has selected IP-MobileCast for more than 10 vessels in its container and bulk fleet.
  • Valles Steamship (Canada) Ltd., of Vancouver, a long-time customer of KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadbandsm SATCOM services, recently added IP-MobileCast content delivery for six vessels.
  • United States Seafoods, a major North American seafood company, has subscribed to IP-MobileCast for three vessels, enabling their seafarers to receive content via their personal devices.

In addition, Vroon, a global maritime fleet operator, and Seaspan, a leading independent owner, operator, and manager of containerships, have continued to add the IP-MobileCast service to more vessels in their fleets, after being among the earliest adopters of this innovative content delivery service.  More than 65 vessels between the two companies now subscribe to the IP-MobileCast service.

“The IP-MobileCast service is well-liked and used extensively by our crewmembers at sea, who tell me they particularly appreciate the ease of use and the availability of the news, sports, and entertainment content on smartphones, tablets, and ships’ TVs,” says David Kramer, director at Seaspan Ship Management, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  “From our point of view, we see IP-MobileCast as certainly a value-add for the crew, and a draw card in employment!”

The ability to feel connected to home via news, sports, and entertainment content – staples of life on land – is undeniably powerful, as expressed recently by a training officer onboard a Vroon vessel: “Now we can watch the latest news from the Philippines.  We can feel connected to our loved ones, family, and friends.  Everybody onboard is very happy for the movies subscribed to by the company,” says Robert Calais, training chief officer onboard the vessel Iver Best.

“The adoption rate for IP-MobileCast has gained a tremendous amount of momentum in the last six to eight months, and we are seeing a number of major fleets adding and expanding the content delivery service,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “There is simply no other comparable service available for keeping seafarers informed and entertained on transoceanic voyages.  By providing content at sea, these fleets can become employers of choice in the competition for the most competent seafarers, particularly top-notch officers.  That in turn can help reduce costs for recruiting, training, and retention efforts.”

IP-MobileCast was launched by KVH in 2014 as the first service to multicast daily news and sports, movies, and TV shows, as well as operational data via satellite to vessels at sea, without adding communications costs or affecting vessel communications performance.  The resulting benefits include improvements in cost containment, crew recruiting and retention, operational efficiency, and competitive advantage.

The efficiency of the IP-MobileCast service is particularly appealing to shipmanagers and operators striving to improve operational efficiency.  IP-MobileCast’s multicasting technology is designed to remove traffic from the vessels’ networks and protect against the impact of individual crew members each downloading unlicensed videos or accessing streaming audio or video services for their personal entertainment.

The news and entertainment content delivered by IP-MobileCast includes a wealth of options that are typically not available to mariners at sea.  The NEWSlinkTM channel provides daily print and broadcast news from around the world in dozens of languages; SPORTSlinkTM provides sports events and highlights; MOVIElinkTM provides newly released Hollywood and international movies; and, TVlinkTM offers complete seasons of popular programs.

In addition, shipmanagers and vessel IT directors are seeing the operational benefits of the IP-MobileCast service as a way to efficiently and affordably transmit large files such as charts, weather updates, customer-supplied company-wide video messages, software updates, and other important operational files.  “The thought of having a completely separate way of transmitting large files is proving to be a true game-changer in the way fleet operators are looking at their operations,” says Robert Hopkins, Jr., KVH’s director of IP-MobileCast services.  “Feedback from ship owners and operators speaks to the excitement the IP-MobileCast service is generating, where our subscribers tell us they go from disbelief that multicast content delivery is technically feasible to high praise for the quality of the results.”

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