ViaSat-2: Connecting continents, connecting communities


The launch of the ViaSat-2 satellite system transitions Viasat from a domestic to regional internet service provider (ISP). That’s because, ViaSat-1, the predecessor of ViaSat-2, served high-speed connectivity across North America; whereas ViaSat-2 will provide even faster continuous connectivity across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. With this expansion, Viasat can connect new continents and new communities.

Emerging markets in the South
The launch of ViaSat-2 presents new opportunities for Viasat to bring high-speed connectivity to unserved and underserved markets in emerging markets within the satellite’s reach. These markets include towns and villages that have little to no internet access in the Southern part of North America (e.g. Mexico), Central America and parts of South America. To address these broadband-challenged locations, Viasat has partnered with local wholesalers to trial new “village Wi-Fi,” which is a satellite-based hotspot service that connects the people in small villages and towns to the online world — affordably and reliably. Many of the participating village residents in the trial have mobile smartphones, yet many do not have mobile or internet service. By using the Viasat satellite-enabled “village Wi-Fi” service, made available through a shared terminal, the resident gain access to high-speed connectivity.

“Many villages within our trial program have no, or minimal access to fixed broadband internet services. Our trial work has shown that we can service thousands of villages-at-scale,” said Kevin Cohen, Viasat’s General Manager of Mexico Consumer Services. “This is a very exciting and rewarding program, as our shared terminals are giving the trial village users the ability to connect and experience the internet in a way they have never done before.”

Building a Bridge to Europe

ViaSat-2 creates a high-speed connectivity bridge across the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, people traveling from North America to the Middle East have the ability to stay connected on the highest-quality, highest-capacity satellite broadband networks. Users can connect to the ViaSat-2 network and then roam onto the KA-SAT network, a high-capacity Ka-band satellite system that covers Europe and the Mediterranean basin. KA-SAT is part owned by Viasat through its European joint venture with Eutelsat.

The expanded footprint of ViaSat-2, coupled with its massive amount of capacity, will enable Viasat to deliver broadband services to more markets, including: residential, in-flight, maritime, emergency relief and response, oil and gas and government to name a few.