ViaSat Ka-Band Satellite Starts Testing for 2018 Service Entry

By S.L. Fuller | December 6, 2017
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ViaSat 1 rendering. Image courtesy of ViaSat.

ViaSat 1 rendering. Image courtesy of ViaSat.

ViaSat Inc.’s ViaSat-2 satellite has arrived in geostationary orbit and transitioned into orbit normal mode, the company said. It has also commenced in-orbit testing — a key milestone for the in-flight broadband program.

Testing includes the first end-to-end system test, with the ViaSat-2 satellite transmitting and receiving data to and from the new Viasat ground segment. This satellite, which operates in Ka-band frequencies, is expected to double the bandwidth of ViaSat-1 with more than 300 gbps total network capacity. It should also provide seven times more broadband coverage.

Within days of reaching its geostationary orbit, ViaSat said it was able to successfully transmit data to and from the ViaSat-2 satellite. The company was also able to stream content, providing an early demonstration of the satellite’s power and flexibility.

“The ViaSat-2 system is the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to bringing a satellite platform to market that can deliver truly high-speed, high-quality broadband to many more people, and with a much greater geographic reach,” said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat. ” We’re another step closer to bringing the ViaSat-2 satellite into service.”

Following completion of the in-orbit tests, the ViaSat-2 satellite is scheduled to enter commercial service in February 2018, ViaSat said. It would then be in service, enabling the delivery of advanced residential, enterprise, government and in-flight internet services.

ViaSat-2 was launched by Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana, in June.

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