Set sail without losing service. KVH, a manufacturer best known for its satellite-based marine communications systems, just changed the connectivity game for sailors with its new TracPhone LTE-1 marine communications system.
The new cellular device combines LTE Advanced cellular network technology with two leading carrier contracts to provide connectivity up to 20 miles offshore.
But how good is it? Like Netflix and chill good. Multiple users can connect at a time to the Internet via a wired Ethernet cable or WiFi for data download speeds up to 100 Mbps—that’s 10 times the speed of typical cellphone service offshore.
“For business reasons, my wife and I can’t leave the dock without Internet or else we have to be back by 3 p.m. each time we go out sailing,” says Mike Dolan, owner of Skywalker, a 34-foot C&C that he sails out of Southold, NY, with his wife, Wendy. “You can take all the other electronics off my boat, but I need Internet, or I can’t leave the dock.
“As soon as I installed my TracPhone LTE-1 and logged on, we had Internet and it was super fast. We went from no signal on my cellphone and zero Internet with another product, to a strong signal and great connection,” he added. “Within minutes, Wendy was on her laptop on the back deck under the canopy doing her work, and I was streaming a cartoon on my tablet for our one-year-old granddaughter. I am thrilled that KVH makes this product. It was obvious to me immediately that it’s a winner. No doubt about it.”
The TracPhone LTE-1 is compact—a little larger than a football—and easily installs onto stern rails, pole mounts, and other antenna mounts, making it a plug-and-play addition to cruising and racing sailboats.
The complete system includes a high-gain dual antenna array, modem, GPS, and Wi-Fi router. A single cable connects the antenna to a belowdecks Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) injector to provide power to the system.
“Sailors have been wanting near-shore connectivity for years, to check the weather and tides, be on social media, keep up with email—all while they are out sailing,” says Jim George, senior director of global leisure sales for KVH. “We tapped our engineers to create an LTE solution unlike any other, and they devoted months’ of development and beta testing to make sure this high-quality, all-in-one system has the top performance that KVH is known for with our marine products.
“The LTE-1 is ideal for sailboats as small as 24 feet up to large cruising and racing sailboats of all sizes.”
The TracPhone LTE-1 automatically switches between carriers to achieve the most seamless WiFi experience yet in U.S. waters, including Hawaii and Alaska. Bonus: KVH is looking to expand to the Caribbean by the end of this year.
“People who have boats and have businesses always need to be in touch; they need this product. It’s awesome. You can even do WiFi calling with the TracPhone LTE-1,” says Dolan, who has used the LTE-1 at favorite offshore anchorages and while cruising in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island this summer.
At 10x the speed of your cell phone, the TracPhone LTE-1’s cruising speed is fast enough to appease the office—and the kids. No one will blame you if you pull out Netflix for a little extra “quiet” time.
We’ve all done it.
$1,699, with a flexible, month-to-month airtime 20 GB data plan for $199 per month with no annual contract.
Enjoy HD streaming and Internet more than 20 miles offshore with KVH, the #1 global marine communications provider. www.kvh.com