In a filing with the FCC, ViaSat reported that its ViaSat-2 satellite is “almost fully constructed and scheduled for launch by the first quarter of 2017. ViaSat is preparing for the commencement of commercial service during the summer of 2017.” The new satellite is to double the capacity of ViaSat-1, which supports the Exede broadband service.
The point of the filing was to request an expansion of the frequencies ViaSat-2 will use once in operation. The satellite’s current authorization is for a geosynchronous orbit at 69.9º West longitude using 18.3-19.3 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz for downlinks and 28.1-29.1 GHz and 29.5-30.0 GHz for uplinks. ViaSat is seeking permission to use 27.5-28.1 GHz and 17.7-18.3 GHz as well. The use of additional frequencies will facilitate construction of necessary Earth stations, ViaSat said.
“ViaSat’s advanced satellite broadband technologies already have reduced the ‘cost per bit’ of broadband service to make satellite-delivered broadband service fully competitive, from a performance and a price perspective, with many terrestrial alternatives,” the company says in the filing. The current satellite has a total throughput of 150 Gbps. With the use of the additional frequencies, ViaSat-2 throughput will be approximately 300 Gbps. At the individual subscriber level, it could surpass speeds of 100 Mbps.