On Monday, ViaSat outlined plans to team up with Space Systems/Loral on the construction and deployment of a satellite, known as ViaSat-1, that is expected to emerge as the world’s highest-capacity broadband satellite. Construction of ViaSat-1 forms part of a strategic alliance among ViaSat, Loral, Telesat of Canada, and Eutelsat, which has also contracted with Loral on the deployment of a similar high-capacity satellite that would serve European broadband customers and that would enable ViaSat and Eutelsat to offer wholesale business services across a common Ka-band networking platform. Slated for launch in 2011, ViaSat-1 would operate in the 115° West Longitude orbital slot controlled by Telesat. (Telesat’s ANIK-F2 spacecraft, which provided initial U.S. capacity for WildBlue Communications, ranks as the world’s first major spot beam satellite in the Ka-band.) Declaring that ViaSat-1 “is designed to significantly expand the quality, capability and availability of high-speed broadband satellite services for U.S. and Canadian consumers and enterprises,” ViaSat observed that ViaSat-1, together with Eutelsat’s recently-announced high-capacity KA-SAT spacecraft, will “provide a range of speeds that extend well above the median for cable and DSL at retail pricing the same as existing satellite services.” When adding ViaSat-1 to the next-generation “SurfBeam” networking system of which KA-SAT forms a part, ViaSat proclaimed that total throughput is expected to exceed 100 gigabits per second, which represents “more capacity than today’s entire fleet of two-way Ka-band, C- and Ku-band capacity over North America combined.” Declaring that “day to day consumer Internet interactions involving high-bandwidth activities like video and multimedia were not part of the plans when earlier satellite services were designed,” ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg said, “we are aiming to give consumers a vastly improved experience based on the most advanced technology on the market.”
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ViaSat, Loral unveil plans for high-speed, high-capacity broadband satellite
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