ViaSat, which operates its own Ku- and Ka-band communications satellite network, is demonstrating its fourth-generation Ka-band Global Aero Terminal 5510 satellite shipset at its NBAA exhibit (Booth C7818).
The 5510 terminal can deliver up to 1 gigabit per second throughput to the aircraft, according to ViaSat, in a three-LRU system with components that can be installed in the non-pressurized area of the fuselage. Certification for installations of the 5510 terminal shipset in a variety of aircraft is expected in the first half of 2018.
Two antennas are installed on the aircraft, one serving as a Ka primary and the second for Ku backup communications. This configuration “ensures passengers and crew are virtually connected anywhere they travel,” according to ViaSat. “Competing solutions leave no room under the radome for a redundant connectivity solution.”
ViaSat offers four new service plans for the Ka-band network, with peak speeds of up to 16 Mbps for any of the plans. The plans—Ultra30, Ultra40, Ultra60 and Ultra100—offer 30, 40, 60 and 100 gigabytes of data, respectively. The company’s current Ku-band service now offers speeds of up to 6 Mbps and “significantly larger data allocations, providing up to six times the amount of monthly data,” according to ViaSat.
In 2018, ViaSat will launch the ViaSat-2 service, which will expand high-speed connectivity over North and Central America, the Caribbean, parts of northern South America and primary routes across the Atlantic Ocean. This capability “effectively bridges to the ViaSat Ka-band coverage over Europe and the Mediterranean Basin,” the company said. Additional Ka-band service is coming in three years when the ViaSat-3 constellation of three “ultra high capacity” satellites, each offering more than 1 Terabit per second of network capacity, is launched. Two satellites will deliver Ka-band service over the Americas and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, while the third will service Asia Pacific.