Marine Communications Leader KVH Introduces LTE System for Fast, Affordable Internet Access Offshore

6 Responses

  1. Bryan Austin says:

    I don’t see the “game changer” in this. Equipment price is in line with setting up my own cellular hotspot & booster/external antenna and wifi router. At $200 for 20MB, that won’t allow you to use the system for regular streaming. The game changer will be real unlimited data plans. You can find them now on eBay (right or wrong) for $30-$150 per month. Shakespeare has an all-in-one system and there are others. I like the product and I’m sure it operates very well. Without unlimited data service, Internet use is realistically limited to non-video streaming. And I can get data plans for that much cheaper.

  2. Chris Witzgall says:

    Bryan, I think the big difference is that once you get a few miles offshore, you need a satellite system that costs much much more per gig of data. So this fills a sweet spot for those users. How far offshore does your system work? There are still cellular dead spots where boats go as well, on the ICW, etc.

    If they can get this up and running in the Bahamas it will be huge for many boaters that go there + the eastern coast of the US only.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Well, I did just experience fast Verizon 4G while 20 miles and more off the coast much of the way from Cape Cod Canal to Penobscot Bay using just my Pixel 2 phone, Surecall Fusion2Go booster, and Digital Antenna bullet (after my “unlimited” plan had started a new monthly cycle 😉

      But KVH is capable of a different level. I understand, for instance, the LTE-1 is already built to most every international cell standard and they’re working on service plans outside the U.S. I believe that they’re also able to monitor and update an LTE-1 remotely. I don’t know if they can secure Bahamas cell service, but if they do, I suspect it will be effortless to use for LTE-1 owners.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Hi Bryan, “game changer” often makes me cringe, but I do think that this LTE-1 is a different game than putting together your own system, and possibly even the all-in-one Shakespeare, Glomex, and Winegard marine cell systems. Because it’s not only an all-in-one hardware system but also an end-to-end system, meaning KVH also manages the service. Plus there are indications that KVH has come up with long range cell performance that’s not available elsewhere.

    I’m a DIY type myself, but, man, I spent a lot of time during the last two cruising months wrestling with “Unlimited” Verizon cell service (I question if there are “real” unlimited plans), cell booster, WiFi boosters and various WiFi services to fill in where Verizon wouldn’t, etc. etc. $200 for 20 gigs and $10 per 10g additional from a really simple single reputable marine vendor system might have been a really good trade if it works as promised.

    • Bryan Austin says:

      I am possibly (naively) biased in that my marine cellular experience only includes up-down the Texas coast. I do get some dropouts when I’m outside of 10 miles or so. I guess KVH is “tuned” to the better LTE-1 band. Seems like LTE-Advanced service will provide as much or better performance. Just need that to continue to expand across the coast.

  1. June 20, 2018

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