First 1Tbps ViaSat-3 satellite launched

Viasat reports that it has completed the successful launch of the first in its series of new generation ViaSat-3 Ka-band satellites, each capable of delivering over 1 Terabit per second (Tbps) of throughput capacity.

The first of the trio of planned satellites, ViaSat-3 Americas, was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. First signals from the satellite were acquired through a ground station in South Korea in the hours following the launch.

In the coming days, ViaSat-3 will deploy its solar arrays and drift to its final orbital location. Viasat says that it expects it will take less than three weeks to reach its final orbital destination, located at 88.9° west longitude.

“This first Americas satellite will multiply our available bandwidth and enable faster speeds and more coverage – especially for our mobility customers,” said Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s chairman and CEO.

“It’s not just a new satellite, it’s a new way to build broadband satellites. Thanks so much to all our people, and our partners, for their commitment and dedication to getting this done.”

The next satellite in the series will cover the EMEA region and is now in environmental testing in Boeing’s California factory. The third ViaSat-3 satellite has completed final payload integration and testing at the company’s Arizona facility and will focus on the Asia Pacific region, completing global service coverage once in operation.

“The tremendous flexibility these satellites are designed to offer will allow us to shift bandwidth around, enabling us to match plentiful capacity supply to the demand created across the maritime industry, either cruise ships gathered at a busy port, commercial vessels, or leisure yachts in the remote areas of the ocean,” said Shameem Hashmi, VP and GM, Maritime and Global Markets at Viasat.

“This ability to shift capacity makes our Tbps satellites even more powerful, as the efficiencies drive down the costs of our bandwidth in a way that allows us to provide a unique connectivity experience at a great price.”

Viasat is currently in the process of completing a $7.3 billion deal to acquire fellow satellite operator Inmarsat and combine the two companies. Inmarsat completed the launch of the second in its new I-6 series of satellites in February, with both Ka-band and L-band payloads.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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