Stop searching for bars and start searching for fish. KVH, a manufacturer best known for its satellite-based marine communications systems, just changed the connectivity game for offshore fishermen 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. That’s prime Snapper and Goliath Grouper territory.
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.
Kirk Beattie, owner of Preferred Marine Sales Group, Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL, took one out for an early spin to the swordfish grounds off the shores of Islamorada, a village in the Florida Keys.
“My phone said no service around 8-10 miles off shore but with the KVH TracPhone LTE-1, I was streaming music and texting until 26 miles out,” he says. “It was amazing. WiFi was hooked up and I was sending iMessages without delay.”
The TracPhone LTE-1 is compact—a little larger than a football—and easily mounts onto any center console, making it a plug-and-play addition to any boat.
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.
“Boaters have been wanting near-shore connectivity for years, to check the weather, check water temps, be on social media—all while they are out fishing,” 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 everything from the 30-foot center console up to the 100-foot luxury sportfish yacht.”
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.
“The size is perfect, it can fit on any center console, and you can’t beat the performance and clarity,” Beattie added.
Plus, it allows you to ditch the marine VHF radio when hunting for fast fish with friends. Keep conversations private and the fish to yourself. That and the kids’ happy. 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