Throughout the maritime industry today, the increasing focus on seafarer wellbeing clearly illustrates its foundational role for safe, efficient operations.
More and more, seafarer wellbeing is fostered by digital solutions, particularly connectivity and content delivered by the vessel’s satellite communications provider. Indeed, the global COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of connectivity and has accelerated the overall pace of maritime digitalization.
KVH has seen the demand for connectivity increase rapidly during the pandemic, and much of the data is used onboard for seafarers to stay in touch with loved ones and informed about world events during a period of unprecedented challenges. Whether it is crew calling, email, or Internet access, seafarers rely on connectivity. At the core of KVH’s VSAT connectivity solutions are the TracPhone HTS series satellite antenna systems and the mini-VSAT Broadband HTS satellite network; KVH provides connectivity services for thousands of commercial vessels worldwide, many of whom use AgilePlans, KVH’s innovative subscription-based plan that includes the hardware, airtime, and content all for one monthly fee without CAPEX or maintenance costs.
To support crew welfare and maritime operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, KVH is offering 50% discounts on data plan upgrades. Hundreds of vessels have upgraded for more bandwidth during the pandemic because communication and crew welfare are so important.
When it comes to news and entertainment content, seafarers are best served by a digital content platform that delivers daily updates of content without using the data from the vessel’s data plan. KVH has a long history of mobile tech innovation and decades of experience in providing award-winning crew content —starting in the 1960s with reel-to-reel movie nights on the deck of a ship to the most recent launch of KVH Link, a digital content service delivered via satellite. KVH Link delivers a premium user experience for crew with a robust and constantly updated library of content including:
Accessible for group viewing on a vessel’s common area TV screen or on seafarers’ personal devices, KVH Link features the content seafarers crave. In developing the KVH Link service, KVH built on its experience with the IP-MobileCast content delivery service it introduced in 2014, which features patented technology for delivering cybersecure, encrypted multimedia content which is multicast to many vessels at once over unused bandwidth without slowing down onboard internet speeds or affecting the data usage.
During the pandemic, the other type of content that is crucial for seafarer wellbeing is updates from shore-side vessel management to communicate real-time updates via video on situations such as crew changes and travel. KVH offers YOURlink to enable the sharing of proprietary media files such as corporate videos, audio files, and podcasts with every vessel in the fleet to promote crew safety and corporate values. This service allows ship operators and managers to reach the crew quickly, easily, and affordably while enabling everyone onboard to watch the corporate content via the TV in common areas, or on their own tablets, smartphones, and PCs.
Leading ship operator Pacific Basin is currently using YOURlink to send corporate videos about crew changes and other important topics during the pandemic to their seafarers on more than 100 vessels, with the KVH service ensuring that all Pacific Basin vessels receive the video at the same time.
KVH has always focused on crew wellbeing as the heart of commercial maritime. Our team has extensive experience in commercial maritime including former roles such as Cadet, Master, Chief Engineer, Chief Radio Officer, Purser, and General Manager.
Learn more about our solutions for crew at KVH Crew Connections: kvh.com/crewconnections.