ViaSat, Eutelsat Agree to Link High-Capacity Ka-band Satellite Networks

ViaSat and Eutelsat have entered into an agreement that will enable service access and roaming on each others' Ka-band satellite network and ground infrastructure. This should make it easier for news crews to take their Ka-band terminals anywhere in the two companies’ high-capacity service area spanning North America, Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

The agreement includes provisions for future satellites and new technology, including ViaSat-2, scheduled for launch in 2016. ViaSat-2 will improve coverage in the U.S. and add coverage in Central America, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean, including over-water service to ships and aircraft crossing the North Atlantic or traveling to Latin America.

Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO, said, “This formalizes another step towards covering the high traffic areas of the world with the fastest, most affordable mobile broadband satellite connectivity. Extending our long-standing relationship with Eutelsat enables us to provide the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi available on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The ViaSat network covers the U.S. and Canada with over 145 Gbps of capacity. Eutelsat's KA-SAT satellite supplies more than 90 Gbps of network capacity in the European region.

Eutelsat chairman and CEO Michel de Rosen said, “Working with ViaSat, we can extend to North America the high quality of service we already provide clients in Europe through KA-SAT, and bridge the two satellite systems with the addition of ViaSat-2. We believe this feature will be a real plus for companies providing mobile services and who need to move around user equipment from region to region.”

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.