The increased C-band capacity will take effect in February.
KVH first introduced C-band overlay coverage to its existing Ku-band network less than two years ago, and it says that it has seen installations of its dual-mode TracPhone V11-IP satcom system, which can connect to either Ku-band or C-band frequencies, steadily increase.
The terminal uses a 1-metre diameter antenna with dual-band transmit and receive capability to switch between the mini-VSAT Broadband network's C- and Ku-band satellite coverage, providing continuity for onboard systems that rely on internet service availability.
“Vessels using the TracPhone V11-IP typically need C-band coverage only a small percentage of the time they are at sea, because of the extensive Ku-band capacity of the mini-VSAT Broadband network, which itself has more than doubled worldwide in the past year,” explains Marc Edwards, KVH's network operations director.
“This unique network architecture allows us to provide the power and speed of a modern maritime VSAT service with the global coverage typical of global L-band services like Inmarsat FleetBroadband.”
The C/Ku-band mini-VSAT Broadband service provides vessels travelling between 75°N and 70°S latitude with broadband data connections. In most areas, the mini-VSAT service uses Ku-band transponders to provide downloads at rates up to 4 Mbps.
KVH says that its mini-VSAT Broadband network also has wide regulatory approval that C-band-only maritime VSAT services are unable to provide due to regulatory restrictions that generally limit their use to 200km offshore.
For coastal and in-port use, KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband network relies on Ku-band coverage, which is generally permitted. In areas outside of its Ku-band coverage and for redundant backup service, the TracPhone V11-IP automatically switches over to C-band global beams.
The C-band service also has a much longer wavelength than Ku-band services, providing improved resilience to rain and other adverse weather conditions.