ViaSat looks to a future with global Ka-band satellite coverage

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Don Buchman, ViaSat's Director of Mobile Broadband.
Don Buchman, ViaSat’s Director of Mobile Broadband.

ViaSat is gearing up for its upcoming ViaSat-2 satellite launch and planning for the next phase – a global network with its ViaSat-3 constellation.

ViaSat-1’s Ka-band service covers North and South America, plus Europe is covered through a roaming agreement with Eutelsat and its KA-SAT satellite.

The ViaSat-2 satellite, which will be launched by SpaceX later in 2016 with an in-service date of early 2017, will expand coverage over the Atlantic Ocean, plus add additional capacity over Canada and Central America.

Don Buchman, ViaSat’s Director of Mobile Broadband, said that ViaSat-2 will have double the throughput capacity of ViaSat-1, from 140 Gbps to 280 Gbps.

“ViaSat-2 will really open up routes down to the Caribbean, Mexico, North and South America, plus the trans-Atlantic paths. That covers the lion’s share of many common aircraft routes,” Buchman said.

ViaSat – 3

“But we have plenty more in the pipeline. We’re talking about the ViaSat-3 satellites now, which will be a step change yet again in terms of throughput.

“These will be a ‘visible earth’ satellites offering full coverage from their geostationary positions. The goal is to have three such satellites in position to cover the entire globe,” Buchman said.

The first ViaSat-3, which is currently targeted for launch around 2019, will offer a total of 1,000 Gbps (one Terrabit) throughput.

The first two satellites will focus on the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with a third satellite system planned for the Asia Pacific region, completing ViaSat’s global service coverage.

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“It will also offer smart capacity with the ability to focus its spot beams where capacity is actually needed,” Buchman said.

“We will eventually have a three-satellite ViaSat-3 constellation. This will give us global high-speed connectivity. There is a lot of demand out there, especially in aviation,” Buchman concluded.

Boeing Satellite Systems are starting on the associated satellite bus platforms, expected for integration and delivery in 2019.

The ViaSat-3 platform is the next big step for ViaSat to fulfill its ambition of delivering a global broadband network with enough capacity to deliver more consumer choice with an affordable, high-speed, high-quality internet and video streaming service.

The first two satellites will deliver more than twice the total network capacity of the approximately 400 commercial communications satellites in space today – combined.

The ViaSat-3 platform can serve more customer demand by supporting each aircraft with hundreds of Mbps of in-flight connectivity services and video streaming for commercial airlines, business jets and high-value government aircraft;

More information: www.viasat.com

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