Wildblue to offer new service after launch of largest communications satellite in North America
by Jack Minor –
A Colorado-based satellite internet company will begin providing airline customers internet servicet next year using its new satellite that is scheduled to be launched in October.
Englewood based, WildBlue communications, currently provides high speed internet service via satellite. Its primary customer base are currently rural subscribers who do not have access to high speed broadband service.
Currently, subscribers are limited to a top speed of 1.5 Mbps, however, that will change once the company launches its new satellite next month.
ViaSat-1 will be WildBlue’s third satellite to provide internet service. Currently WildBlue-1 and Telesat’s Anik F2 cover the U.S. with 66 individual spot beams. The satellites operate on the Ka 20/30 GHz frequencies.
ViaSat-1 will have a greater communications capability than all of the other communications satellites in North America combined. The satellite will have 150 Gbps throughput capacity and will offer speeds faster than anything previously offered in the satellite industry.
WildBlue president, Tom Moore, said with the new satellite service WildBlue will be able to offer speeds of up to 12 Mbps with pricing comparable to broadband services such as Comcast and CenturyLink (formerly Qwest).
Moore says the new pricing will enable WildBlue to offer competitive services in urban markets in addition to the rural customer base it currently serves.
Beginning next year LiveTV will begin offering internet service aboard JetBlue and Continental airlines using the WildBlue network. ViaSat Director of Public Relations, Bruce Rowe, said each aircraft will have one or more Wi-Fi hotspots similar to a home network or coffee shop.
Details regarding the cost of the service and other information are not yet available.
The service will be competing with Aircell, which currently provides service on multiple airlines including AirTran, Delta, Frontier, United, US Airways and Virgin America. The Aircell network uses a series of ground-based towers to provide the service to the aircraft.
This system limits the service availability to being over land, while the WildBlue system, using satellite technology, will be available over land and water. With the new satellite, the WildBlue network will be able to offer service between the continental U.S. and Hawaii as well as Canada.
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Posted by Jack Minor in General News category