ViaSat, a broadband provider in California, which has yet to complete its latest constellation of high-capacity satellites (the ViaSat-3 fleet), has announced that it is currently working on an improved version.
Mark Dankberg, CEO at ViaSat, confirmed a ViaSat-4 iteration is currently in the works.
The current plan is to see the first ViaSat-3 (which can handle 1 Terabit/second traffic) launched for service over the US early in 2021, and a European/MENA craft launching later in the same year. By the end of 2022, the third satellite should be operating over the Asia-Pacific region.
Commenting on ViaSat-3 Dankberg, said: “The ViaSat-3 versions incorporated a decade of innovation in space and ground network technology and the lessons learned from multiple generations of payload prototypes. It’s a fundamentally new, highly integrated space-ground architecture, establishing a new set of tools for broadband satellite design and construction, with an emphasis on scalability. If things continue to go well, ViaSat-3 is just the first instance of a new series of spacecraft delivering significantly more bandwidth, higher speeds and greater flexibility with each generation.”
“We’ve now made enough progress on ViaSat-3 to begin designing and analyzing the ViaSat-4 follow-on, that could achieve similar or better relative productivity advances as ViaSat 1, 2 and 3 did in their time.”
ViaSat-3 craft are high-capacity satellites under construction, although Hughes Network System’s Jupiter-3 and Eutelsat’s Konnect have similar specifications.
He added that the new – and still in the design stage – ViaSat-4 craft promises to deliver more capacity, and “big improvements” in productivity.
ViaSat is already supplying in-flight live video (for American Airlines).
Part of the company’s optimism is a deal with China Satcom which will supply its Ka-band satellite capacity to ViaSat.
Commenting on the same, the company added: “We’ve opened the door to what’s expected to soon be the largest aviation market in the world. Since the partnership focuses on working with China Satcom to provide in-flight connectivity (IFC) to the country’s fast-growing airlines, consumers in China will soon get their first experience with ViaSat in the air.”