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ViaSat set to launch 100Mbps satellite broadband platform

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Satellite connectivity provider ViaSat has announced a new platform being developed which it claims will provide superfast broadband speeds to rural areas the world over.

The ViaSat-3 high capacity satellite platform is currently in development and scheduled for a 2019 launch. The system is comprised of three satellites, and ViaSat has begun work on the first two, saying Boeing Satellite Systems is taking care of the satellite bus platforms. It is thought that the three satellites will be capable of delivering up to 100Mbps superfast broadband connectivity, thus enabling the delivery of 4K ultra high definition television broadcasting.

ViaSat has said the first two satellites currently in development will be focussed on the Americas and EMEA regions respectively, with the final satellite covering the Asia Pacific. It also claims the first two satellites will deliver more than double the total capacity of the 400 commercial communications satellites in orbit today combined.

Not only does ViaSat hope for 100Mbps residential broadband, but it also reckons the new system will enable huge speeds for in-flight connectivity (something it’s been working on extensively recently), as well as gigabit speeds for maritime, oil rigs and other oceanic business applications.

CEO and chairman of ViaSat, Mark Dankberg, was suitably proud to announce the potential achievement.

“The innovations in the ViaSat-3 system do what until now has been impossible in the telecommunications industry – combining enormous network capacity with global coverage, and dynamic flexibility to allocate resources according to geographic demand,” he said. “While there are multiple companies and consortia with ambitions to connect the world with telecom, satellite and space technologies, the key technologies underlying ViaSat-3 are in hand today, enabling us to move forward in building the first broadband platform to bring high-speed internet connectivity, including video streaming, to all.”

Meanwhile, ViaSat and Eutelsat have announced a joint venture initiative combining the consumer ISP business expertise of the former with the high capacity broadband satellite of the latter. The aim of the yet-unnamed JV is to launch two new businesses focussing on retail and wholesale broadband services in Europe.  Eutelsat’s CEO Michel de Rosen said the existing relationship between the two was a compelling reason for the cooperative effort for delivering new broadband services in Europe.

“Broadband is an important component of our strategy, and we seek to partner with market-leading companies that contribute to enriching our offer,” he said. “ViaSat is a partner that we both trust and value for its track record in setting industry standards and developing technologies that unlock broadband opportunities. Our joint venture will take our relationship to a new level and give further impetus to affordable, high-quality internet services in Europe.”

Finally in what has been a busy day for announcements, ViaSat has also confirmed the launch of two geostationary satellites will go ahead in Q1 2017 in a bid to boost speed and coverage of its existing services.


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