Via-Sat2ViaSat-2 will be based on the Boeing 702HP satellite bus (CREDIT: Boeing)

Highest capacity comms satellite record to be broken

The makers of the highest-capacity communications satellite in the world will build one with seven times the coverage.

ViaSat have signed a contract with Boeing to build ViaSat-2, based on the firm’s next generation Ka-band satellite technology and architecture, which will double the bandwidth economics of the firm’s record breaking ViaSat-1 and increase its coverage footprint seven-fold.

The firms first satellite is used to provide satellite broadband services to North America and the new satellite is expected to improve speed and availability of the service as well as expanding the coverage area to include Central America, the Caribbean, parts of northern South America and the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean.

“The market success of ViaSat-1 class satellites has highlighted the magnitude of the opportunity for truly competitive satellite services,” says Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat.

“It’s clear that superior bandwidth economics in space create competitive advantages on the ground, in the air, and at sea, compared to other satellite and terrestrial alternatives.”

The ViaSat-2 system will include significant enhancements to ViaSat’s SurfBeam networking technology and is designed to multiply the speeds offered to a level similar to high-speed fiber-to-the-node networks (FTTN).

“ViaSat-2 represents a significant breakthrough in broadband satellite technology; for the very first time combining extremely high bandwidth capacity with very large coverage areas,” says Dankberg.

“ViaSat-2 will make it possible to offer superior in-flight connectivity on applications ranging from JetBlue leisure flights to the Caribbean to US government aircraft traveling to Europe or Latin America, to critical national and Homeland Security missions.

“ViaSat-2 will also combine unprecedented capacity and coverage with operational flexibility; solving historically intractable issues in geographical distribution of bandwidth demand, capital investments, and system performance. We believe ViaSat-2 is more than just state-of-the-art technology, it’s a great investment.”

The new satellite will be based on the Boeing 702HP satellite bus and the two firms have entered into a strategic agreement to jointly market and sell satellites systems based on ViaSat-2 technology.

“The Boeing 702HP is our most powerful satellite platform,” says Craig Cooning, chief executive officer of Boeing Satellite Systems International and vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems.

“This proven capability, integrated with ViaSat’s own satellite technology, will result in what we expect to be the world’s highest-capacity satellite, and will prove to be a major contributor to the expansion of ViaSat’s complete portfolio of broadband services.”

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