Terabit satellites aim to improve high-speed internet delivered from space

Adam Westlake - Feb 11, 2016, 7:37am CST
Terabit satellites aim to improve high-speed internet delivered from space

The future of high-speed internet in the US may be in growing fiber networks, but for people in remote locations, whether it be off the grid or in third-world countries, satellite internet is still the broadest solution. Unfortunately, internet delivered from satellites is slow, and that’s something no one likes. Fortunately satellite company ViaSat has a plan to improve the situation, with a partner ship with Boeing that will see the launch of a new satellite class capable of an incredible 1 Terabit per second.

ViaSat and Boeing will be building three of the new satellites, dubbed ViaSat-3, each with 1 Tbps of network capacity, more than the 400 existing commercial satellites in space can offer combined. That means users on the ground can expect speeds of 100Mbps.

Work has already begun on building the first two satellites, which will serve remote areas in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while the third will cover Asia. ViaSat and Boeing are planning for a launch in 2019. In addition to connecting internet users on the ground, ViaSat-3 is said to also improve in-flight WiFi service on commercial airlines, business-class jets, and government aircraft.

ViaSat’s existing satellites already serve hundreds of thousands of customers in the US, albeit with a total capacity of 140Gbps. Plus the ViaSat-2 is still a few month away from launching on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX.

By 2019, however, ViaSat may be facing a number of competitors aiming to improve high-speed internet access to remote areas, including Google with its hot air balloons, and Facebook with its plans for solar-powered drones.

SOURCE ViaSat


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