New digital platform for VSAT launched

Dec 19, 2019 by Triton Staff

Several communication and technology veterans have launched a new company to bring seamless internet to the yachting industry.

Chicago-based K4 Mobility launched in August 2018 by former inflight satellite company Gogo CEO Michael Small and CTO Anand Chari. The company has raised $5 million and has developed what it calls the first all-digital, multi-network platform, which it is deploying in the maritime VSAT market.

With the recent availability of operator-managed services platforms that sell megabits, the company added SD-WAN-like intelligence to create a service devoid of the capital and operating costs of traditional services as well as the long-term transponder leases.

Existing integrators buy megahertz — not megabits, which gives K4 the ability to purchase and deploy capacity when and where needed, allowing for services to be delivered at the lowest possible price.

Using a mobile application, K4 users can adjust service parameters to their liking, and proprietary algorithms select the best available network. The network can intelligently switch between different providers and provide owners with secure, fine-grained control over all data usage on their vessel.

Data usage, cost, and performance can be seen from a smartphone. In addition, real-time and proactive notifications will alert users when new devices have connected to the network or are using too much data.

The initial target for the service is yachts 80 feet and larger. 

K4 has hired two experienced sales people from the yacht industry, and in the future, plans to sell through a network of distributors as well.

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