KVH, ViaSat Double Mini-VSAT Broadband Capacity in Key Regions
KVH Industries and partner ViaSat have doubled their mini-VSAT Broadband network capacity in the Asian, African and West Indian Ocean regions, including waters off the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. The global spread spectrum satellite network will see expanded coverage and service for KVH’s TracPhone V7 VSAT antenna via 13 satellite transponders and 10 secure Earth stations. The enhanced service will offer voice service and Internet access at speeds up to 512 Kbps for upload and 2 Mbps for download.
“This capacity expansion is another key step in our strategic growth plan for mini-VSAT Broadband. We recognize that all three of these regions are being travelled more frequently by commercial and military vessels that are equipped with TracPhone V7 systems,” KVH Vice President of Satellite Products Brent Bruun said in a statement.
Ever since KVH and ViaSat introduced the Mini-VSAT broadband service with ViaSat’s ArcLight spectrum mobile broadband technology in July 2007, the two partners have worked to create a global network by connecting and activating service one region at a time.
KVH kicked off its global connectivity initiative by hiring former SES Americom Senior Vice President of Strategy Brent Bruun in August 2008, put ting in charge of finding deals in each region to expand its Ku-band Mini-VSAT network. One of the first major deals under Brunn came in February 2008, when KVH and ViaSat expanded their service enterprise operations in the Persian Gulf, packaged under ViaSat’s Yonder mobile network for in-flight broadband to business and commercial aircraft. KVH had just completed rollout of the service to the Northern Pacific Ocean.
KVH and ViaSat have spent the last year of their partnership focused on significant capacity expansions around the globe. In October, the two companies doubled their mini-VSAT broadband network’s capacity in the European region through the addition of the NSS-6 satellite’s Ku-band coverage.
NSS-6 will help the partners support KVH’s maritime subscribers and ViaSat’s Yonder in-flight broadband network for business and commercial aircraft. The expanded network is built upon an architecture that includes ViaSat’s ArcLight spread spectrum technology. In-flight broadband and ArchLight support two major initiatives for ViaSat, including contracts with the U.S. Army to launch Blue Force Tracking 2 powered by ArchLight spectrum and JetBlue to launch airborne connectivity service on the Yonder network
ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg told Via Satellite that the JetBlue deal was one of the company’s most significant achievements in its 2010 fiscal year. “We feel that in-flight broadband is a very strong market right now. …. We’re taking the market way beyond what past services have offered in this market. Bringing in high-capacity Ka-band is what customers and our partners at JetBlue have responded to,” he said.
In August, the two companies expanded North American mini-VSAT Broadband network capacity by more than 500 percent, adding a full transponder and new spread spectrum waveform to provide more than six times the previously available bandwidth for maritime services over North America, the Gulf of Mexico and Central America.