Fast and reliable Internet connectivity has become essential for commercial vessels to gain a competitive edge and increase their operational efficiency

Vessels large and small continue to migrate from legacy L-band connectivity solutions to fast VSAT services powered by high throughput satellite (HTS) networks. Whether it is a tanker, container ship, or small fishing fleet, vessels and their operators increasingly rely on being connected.

The importance of VSAT connectivity has been particularly evident during recent months as the disruption of COVID highlights the need for more data and remote ways of doing business. As a global connectivity provider to thousands of vessels around the world, KVH saw firsthand how data consumption increased significantly during the lockdown. There were substantial increases for both operational and crew data use. For example, COVID-19 forced a pivot to remote surveys as the norm, as it works and is much cheaper than sending a person vessel by vessel. Crew welfare became a focal point, with major fleets providing more internet, voice, and content than previously offered to keep crew connected to home. On land, video conferencing and remote work became the new normal literally overnight during lockdown, but at deep sea, there were challenges to make that a reality. Maritime behavior typically mirrors that on land but with a lag, yet during this pandemic, there has been a more urgent push to connect every device and machine; indeed, digitalization is helping the entire maritime industry evolve.

Another important factor for ship managers during the economic uncertainty of the global pandemic is the need to minimize capital expenditures and stay flexible in terms of commitments and contracts. Having a VSAT connectivity provider that requires no commitment to a long-term plan means that changes in fleet size or the buying/selling of vessels can be handled without worrying about the airtime plan terms.

Making smart decisions about connectivity can enable a fleet to gain a competitive edge at sea. The best connectivity solutions feature a layered, global network that offers coverage and speed to meet operational and crew communication requirements, as well as smart data tools for transparency and control, a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, and embedded IoT functionality. Ease of installation and integration, together with services at over 4,000 ports globally and 24/7/365 technical support, are also features of top connectivity solutions.


When planning to make the upgrade to VSAT or evaluating a replacement VSAT solution, fleets need to consider how to not only get their vessels connected, but also be connected smartly. Connectivity is about moving data from ship to shore and vice versa, so any ecosystem has to have the right data tools at its core. For shipowners, this is a primary concern, and the ability to provide appropriate and necessary data flows are as much a part of modern vessel operations as bunkers and manning.

A connectivity solution from a single end-to-end provider, such as AgilePlans by KVH, leads to real productivity benefits. Leading fleets have selected KVH’s AgilePlans Global service for the flexibility to get the fastest connectivity as a service for one monthly subscription that includes airtime, news from home, and free hardware and no installation or maintenance costs with the 60 cm TracPhone V7-HTS and the 1 meter TracPhone V11-HTS. Smaller regional and fishing fleets have also selected KVH’s new AgilePlans Regional service that delivers fast unlimited airtime with the 37 cm TracPhone V3-HTS system. All with no CAPEX and no commitment.

As the pace of maritime digitalization accelerates, KVH is ensuring that commercial vessels of all sizes can take advantage of this all-inclusive, no CAPEX, and no-commitment connectivity solution that AgilePlans delivers to bring fast and reliable connectivity onboard.