DEAL­ING DATA

Yachting - - INSIGHTS -

KVH TracPhone LTE-1 cus­tomers pur­chase data di­rectly from KVH in 20 GB in­stall­ments, which cost $199 per month with un­throt­tled data speeds, sans min­i­mum con­tracts or com­mit­ments. Ad­di­tional data (read: grand­kids or Net­flix habits) costs $9.99 per GB, and users can win­ter­ize ser­vice for $9.99 per month of in­ac­tiv­ity. sig­nal cov­er­age,” Ben­nett says. ¶ For its ini­tial roll­out, the TracPhone LTE-1 will only work on U.S. wa­ters, but the Mid­dle­town, Rhode Is­land-based man­u­fac­turer plans to ex­pand its LTE hori­zons. “With our fu­ture plans to go be­yond U.S. wa­ters with the TracPhone LTE prod­uct,” Ben­nett says, “we will ex­plore LTE so­lu­tions with mul­ti­ple SIM cards.” ¶ While the LTE-1 is de­signed to ap­peal to coastal and Great Lakes cruis­ers, it will also pro­vide faster, cheaper data to ex­ist­ing mini-VSAT Broad­band cus­tomers. ¶ “We de­signed the TracPhone LTE-1 to work seam­lessly with our VSAT sys­tems,” Ben­nett says, adding that once a TracPhone LTE-1 is net­worked with a mini-VSAT Broad­band dome, “KVH sys­tems can be con­fig­ured to pro­vide seam­less, least-cost rout­ing, so the cus­tomer will re­ceive the most af­ford­able con­nec­tiv­ity at any given time while on the wa­ter.” ¶ To achieve this sys­tem flex­i­bil­ity, users must pay an ini­tial con­fig­u­ra­tion fee and buy KVH’s Com­mBox Ser­vice Bun­dle sub­scrip­tion, costs that are off­set by the low per-gi­ga­byte price of trans­mit­ting data over cel­lu­lar — rather than satel­lite — net­works, es­pe­cially for ha­bit­u­ally data-heavy users. ¶ So, if you’re in the mar­ket for a fast and more af­ford­able way to bridge your ves­sel’s satel­lite-com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment with your per­sonal smart­phone, or if you’re in­ter­ested in us­ing a long-dis­tance cel­lu­lar router as your pri­mary means of main­tain­ing cloud cover while boat­ing, then KVH’s TracPhone LTE-1 could be worth con­sid­er­a­tion. Not only can it help you share your lat­est en­coun­ters from much far­ther off­shore than with a smart­phone an­tenna, but it does so with­out over­tax­ing the cruis­ing kitty.

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