Terabit satellites to supercharge remote internet access

Matt Brian

Despite the growth of fiber and mobile networks, satellite broadband is now more important than ever. Google and Facebook already plan to beam internet connectivity to remote parts of the globe and airlines are in the process of upgrading their equipment to provide faster WiFi aboard flights.

While there are roughly 400 commercial satellites orbiting the earth, output is limited. US communications firm ViaSat believes it can change that, so it’s teamed up aerospace giant Boeing to launch three new satellites that will deliver twice the total combined network capacity of all the connected satellites already in space.

The two companies have already begun working on two of the three ViaSat-3 satellites, which will deliver more than 1 Terabit (1,000 Gbps) of capacity each. ViaSat will design and manufacture the payload and Boeing will be tasked with developing the “associated satellite bus platforms” ahead of a 2019 launch. The first two satellites cover the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the third will serve Asia.

Once in orbit, the ViaSat-3 array will be capable of delivering 100 Mbps internet to residential properties and will offer gigabit speeds to commercial companies in the air and oceanic sectors. Most importantly, ViaSat-3 aims to provide affordable internet to millions of people, many of whom are out of the reach of traditional networks and currently don’t have access to the internet.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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