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Commercial Maritime Fleets Gain Enhanced Communications With New KVH CommBox

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Feb. 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Maritime fleets that demand a competitive advantage require powerful integration capabilities for their communications, allowing them to reduce expenses, maintain operational flexibility, manage multiple communication services, improve shore-to-ship integration, and improve crew welfare. To meet this demand, KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:KVHI) today unveiled the new KVH CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager at the Digital Ship Scandinavia Conference.

"CommBox is the most complete network management tool available for mariners, functioning as e-mail server, relay server, and web server in one rugged package," says Morten Aasen, managing director of KVH Norway AS (formerly Virtek Communication AS). "With multiple shipboard hardware options, your choice of value-added software modules, and the flexibility to work with any selected communication services, the fully configurable CommBox offers unmatched optimization and cost savings whether you have 5 or 500 vessels in your fleet."

Developed by KVH Norway, the original CommBox technology is now supporting more than 800 vessels worldwide. The new, enhanced KVH CommBox solution includes dedicated shipboard network management hardware, network hub options for enhanced performance and network control, and versatile software applications that expand onboard communication capabilities and add valuable capabilities, including:

  • least cost routing between multiple communication services like KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband sm, traditional VSAT, Inmarsat, GSM, WiFi, or WiMax, with configurable rules to determine when to switch as well as the functions available with each service
  • roaming and pre-paid crew accounts that allow crew members to keep one Internet and e-mail account for usage on any vessel in the fleet
  • data compression, web caching, and web acceleration to get the most out of each vessel's network use
  • easy file transfers from ship to shore and shore to ship, including file compression and synchronization among files and folders
  • dynamic reporting on communication activity on the fleet's vessels at all times along with IP routing that supports remote operations and diagnostics of the vessel network right from the fleet headquarters
  • configurable firewalls and encryption for data and network security

In addition to the powerful suite of software, CommBox offers another significant advantage for commercial maritime operations, as Mr. Aasen explains: "The CommBox shipboard hardware brings critical benefits that can't be matched by software-only competitors. CommBox uses dedicated hardware rather than relying solely on software installed on shipboard computers that are often used for other Windows applications, which raises the risk of exposure to viruses, as well as increases the likelihood of your network management failing when your PC experiences a blue screen crash. CommBox users also enjoy the choice of using either a KVH-hosted hub or installing a private hub at a site of their choice, as well as dedicated shipboard LANs to segregate communications for operations, crew, or clients and charter customers. These are options not available via software-only solutions. Our approach allows our customers to customize their network, user, and security configurations rather than forcing them to operate within a standard configuration that's being applied to other fleets as well."

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