Viasat Signs Russian IFC Deal with Gazprom Space Systems, TMC
Viasat has started 2021 strong in the In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) sector, and after a recent deal with Delta Airlines, has followed with a deal to bring IFC services to Russia. Viasat on Thursday announced an MoU with Gazprom Space Systems (GSS) and Russian telecoms operator TMC LLC (TMC) to bring better IFC services across Russia. This cooperation is expected to offer Viasat’s global airline customers roaming connectivity when flying over Russia; providing IFC services on domestic flights within Russia; and enabling Russian and international airlines access to roam onto the Viasat global satellite network when outside of Russian airspace.
The MOU establishes an initial roaming agreement between current Viasat and GSS satellites, with Viasat operating in Russia leveraging TMC’s telecom license. The partnership commenced with Viasat procuring access to Ku-band capacity on the GSS satellite, Yamal-401, while creating a path for Viasat and GSS to leverage capabilities on future satellite constellations.
“We expect the MoU between Viasat, GSS, and TMC will greatly contribute to the integration of the Russian air transportation industry into the united global aviation market. We believe the timing couldn’t be better given Russia’s increased development and production in civil aircraft for both domestic and international markets; the ongoing digital transformation of the economy; and the increased global interest in high-speed, high-quality IFC for domestic flights and international overflights over Russia,” Alexey Bulkin, general director at TMC, said in a statement.