At Boeing’s satellite facility on Tuesday, ViaSat and Boeing executives engaged in an hour-long presentation about ViaSat-2’s capabilities, their business partnership, plus a tour of the facility highlighted by revealing its state-of-the-art satellite. The total project cost, meanwhile, is about $600 million, which include the launch, satellite, insurance and ground equipment, and took three years to construct.
However, no photos were allowed to preserve company and technological strategies.
Nevertheless, ViaSat’s crown jewel stands 25-feet high, about 10 feet wide and, once its solar panels deploy in space, it will have a wingspan of 150 feet. Arianespace, a French company, will deliver the satellite on its Ariane 5 rocket.
“We’re really evolving toward, what we believe, is the first global Internet service provider,” said Dave Abrahamian, ViaSat’s director of space systems. “Our whole mantra for the past 10 years … is to reduce the cost per bit, increase capacity substantially so that satellite-based broadband is no longer the choice of last resort. We’ll move that ball significantly forward when we launch ViaSat-2.”
ViaSat-2, meanwhile, will have roughly two times more the capacity than ViaSat-1, when it launched in 2011, for a total capacity of 300 gigabits per second (Gbps). With 300Gbps of capacity, it will give customers download speeds between 25 to 50Mbps. It will also providing seven times more coverage.
With a successful launch, which is scheduled for March or April in French Guiana in South America, ViaSat-2 will expand the Carlsbad-based company’s reach across the Atlantic Ocean to the Middle East and the northern tip of South America.