ViaSat’s New 1-Terabit internet satellites to boost remote internet access
Satellite company, ViaSat has announced that it is collaborating with Boeing to build and deliver three new satellites that will offer high-speed internet in remotes areas around the globe. The announcement comes few months before the company is scheduled to launch ViaSat-2 satellite on an upcoming SpaceX rocket launch.
However, the new plan will include the launch of ViaSat-3 satellites, which will offer a total network capacity of 1 Tbps (Terabit per second), around triple what the ViaSat-2 offers. In other words, ViaSat will be able to provide 100 Mbps data speeds to remote residential areas in Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and the Middle East.
According to ViaSat, work on two of the three satellites has already begun, and that Boeing is already getting them ready for launch by the end of 2019. The first two satellites cover the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the third will serve Asia.
ViaSat says it already has much of its infrastructure in place. Its first generation 140 gigabit satellite already serves 687,000 subscribers in the US, which gives them an upperhand over other companies and consortiums who are looking to connect the world from space. “The key technologies underlying ViaSat-3 are in hand today,” says ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg. “[It’ll enable] us to move forward in building the first broadband platform to bring high-speed internet connectivity, including video streaming, to all.”
ViaSat says the new satellites will be able to increase in-flight connectivity on commercial airlines, business-class jets, and government aircraft, besides being helpful in residential connections. They will also be able to offer 1 Gbps connections to “maritime, oceanic and other corporate enterprise applications such as oil and gas platforms.” Currently, there are 400 or so commercial communications satellites currently orbiting the Earth combined. The company is claiming that the three new satellites could deliver twice (or more) of this total network capacity.
ViaSat isn’t the only company working on offering Internet connectivity through satellites. Companies like Google and Facebook are also working on using things like solar powered drones and weather balloons to offer Internet to remote areas. Similarly, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic too are working on offering connectivity using small group of satellites.
However, all these options floated by the companies face major challenges using satellite internet. These can be still be easily disrupted by the weather, and the other options are still years away from being rolled out. But at the end, we all hope that at some point of time in the future, everyone will have access to internet across the globe.