Posted on: 11 February 2016 by Mark Howells
Arianespace is to launch the ViaSat-2 and a ViaSat-3 high capacity class satellites, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The respective launches will occur during the first quarter of 2017 and by late 2019/early 2020.
Both ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 class satellites are geostationary satellites and will operate in the Ka-band frequencies.The ViaSat-2 satellite system is expected to improve speeds significantly, reduce costs and expand the footprint of broadband services for the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. According to ViaSat, it will offer approximately double the bandwidth of its previous generation satellite, and seven times the coverage.Work is underway with the first two ViaSat-3 satellites, with ViaSat starting work on the satellite payloads and Boeing Satellite Systems starting on the associated satellite bus platforms, expected for integration and delivery in 2019. 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.The ViaSat-3 platform is the next big step for ViaSat to fulfil 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.In aviation, 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.Mark Dankberg, ViaSat's chairman and chief executive officer commented, "Beyond ViaSat-2, we plan to launch a ViaSat-3 class satellite with Arianespace, where we will offer our customers even higher speeds and higher quality broadband services – ranging from faster home internet services and in-flight video streaming to high-speed, high-value connectivity for government aircraft missions. These two satellite launches are key in the evolution to bring a global broadband communications network to market that delivers affordable, high-speed internet access to all."