DN - Defence Notes

Yonder lie broadband riches for Viasat?

21st February 2009 - 14:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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“Yonder” is the name of the worldwide passenger broadband network being assembled by Californian equipment manufacturer and aspiring service provider ViaSat.

The new branding emerges with the news that the company has added Persian Gulf coverage to the Ku-band satellite network that it is building in collaboration with maritime communications service provider KVH. Earlier this month the partners announced the addition of service to the northern Pacific Ocean, embracing Alaska, the west coasts of Canada and the United States, Hawaii and parts of Asia. The network also covers North America, the North Atlantic and Europe.

ViaSat currently uses its aeronautical capability to support the ARINC SKYLink/Rockwell Collins eXchange service for business aviation, which is operational in about 80 aircraft, mainly long-range Gulfstreams. That fleet passed the milestone of 100,000 flight hours with the service on board in the fourth quarter of last year.
ViaSat revealed last year that while it would continue hosting SKYLink/eXchange on its network, it also intended to act as a service provider in its own right to both business aviation and air transport. Now, in Yonder, carriers mulling over the possibility of offering passenger connectivity on their long-haul operations have another name to consider, along with the Inmarsat community and Ku-band providers Row 44 and Panasonic.

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