In May 2013, ViaSat Inc. became a first-time customer for Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems when it ordered ViaSat-2, a Boeing 702HP satellite. ViaSat-2 will provide high-speed satellite broadband services to subscribers of the ViaSat Exede® Internet service, as well as users of its growing enterprise and mobile broadband businesses. ViaSat-2 is scheduled for delivery in 2016.
The ViaSat-2 architecture will prove that satellites can maximize both capacity and coverage. The new satellite is designed to significantly increase both dimensions compared to ViaSat’s previous generation Ka-band satellite, doubling the bandwidth economics and providing seven times the coverage area. Boeing and ViaSat will cooperatively offer the ViaSat-2 architecture to other satellite providers, enabling Boeing to offer new capabilities to future customers, and ViaSat to further expand the range and capabilities of its broadband services.
When it joins ViaSat’s three other satellites on orbit, ViaSat-2 will enable ViaSat to expand coverage in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a small part of northern South America. Key transportation routes between North America and Europe also will benefit.
As a part of its business relationship with Boeing, ViaSat is working cooperatively across the Boeing enterprise to achieve the strategic goals of both ViaSat and Boeing, including BCA’s inclusion of ViaSat Ka-band airborne satellite terminals as a factory line-fit option on Boeing commercial aircraft.
Airlines will be able to specify ViaSat in-flight connectivity on new Boeing aircraft and take delivery of the planes with the equipment already installed. Factory installation avoids costly down-time involved with taking planes out of service for post-production retrofits. With the system installed, airlines will have the ability to access Exede In The Air, ViaSat’s high-speed in-flight Internet service that is designed to provide vastly improved online access to passengers, similar to the broadband experience and data rates of an in-home connection.