Gear

KVH Tracphone V3

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KVH has been a long-term industry leader in antenna stabilization and satellite communication. Its latest V3 satellite phone delivers crisp voice calls, competitive data rates and faster connections. The cost per minute is now at a price point that will appeal to more than the megayacht crowd.

The new V3 phone utilizes a stabilized antenna and a belowdecks-mounted controller/modem. The Ethernet port also accepts an optional wireless router. Part of the system’s appeal comes from the engineering that’s gone into the antenna for the mini-VSAT system. It’s a 25lb dome that weighs a tenth of what a standard VSAT antenna does and measures a diminutive 15.5in x 17.5in, greatly increasing the number of locations onboard where it can be mounted.

The data-handling rate is up to 2 mbps for downloads, and 128 kbps on the upload side—blistering speeds when compared with handheld sat phones and other small systems. Yearlong Airtime packages offer considerable savings on both worldwide phone calls and email service. Rates as low as $0.49/minute for voice and $0.99/minute for data are available. And up to five IP addresses can be operated from the same modem. Coverage is almost worldwide, with the exception of the lower east coast of South America, Antarctica and all of the west coast of South America.

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