The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX rocket launch company has won a new contract from California-based ViaSat-2. ViaSat provides broadband-by-satellite services over North America.
The ViaSat-2 satellite will require SpaceX’s Falcon ‘Heavy’ rocket system, the world’s most powerful, and the ‘next generation’ rocket vehicle following on from SpaceX’s Falcon-9.
Beginning with ViaSat-1, ViaSat began a transformation of satellite communications into a network technology that can provide high-performance services competitive with terrestrial alternatives, rather than being merely a last resort. ViaSat-2 is designed to provide another leap ahead in broadband service quality for residential, mobile, and enterprise satellite services. ViaSat-1 holds the ‘Guinness World Record’ as the world’s highest capacity satellite.
“One of the primary objectives for ViaSat-2, beyond higher speeds, is to offer more data with all of our service plans. That’s what customers want from any wireless service,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. “We can do that by building a network with lots more network capacity at a cost that will attract more customers, and that’s what this new class of satellite is designed to do.”
ViaSat-2 is expected to cover seven times the geographic area and offer twice the bandwidth economics advantage of ViaSat-1, which is already the highest capacity satellite in the world. Planned coverage includes North America, Central America, and the Caribbean basin. The satellite will also provide a bridge of coverage across the North Atlantic, connecting North America with high-capacity coverage in the UK and Europe for high-speed in-flight internet and other mobile services.
Now under construction by Boeing, ViaSat-2 will become the fourth satellite in the ViaSat fleet.