Viasat taps Telstra for Asia-Pacific ground network

Resulting work will support Viasat's developing ViaSat-3 satellite constellation, which will provide global broadband coverage.

February 2, 2022

3 Min Read

CARLSBAD, Calif. – The ViaSat-3 constellation is designed to cover most of the globe with just three ultra-high-capacity satellites. In Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, Viasat has entered into a relationship with Telstra to build and manage the ground network.

The ViaSat-3 satellite constellation is the next big step for Viasat to fulfill its ambition to deliver a broadband network with enough satellite capacity to deliver greater consumer choice with an affordable, high-speed, high-quality internet and video streaming service — anywhere in the world.

An ultra-high-capacity terabit satellite constellation, the ViaSat-3 system is a completely new satellite design and platform. It is comprised of three ViaSat-3 class satellites with state-of-the-art ground network infrastructure. The first two satellites will focus on the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with the third targeting the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Each of the three satellite systems has been designed to offer over 1 Tbps of total network capacity to deliver data and video streaming speeds of more than 150 Mbps; support hundreds of aircraft with advanced in-flight connectivity services and video streaming; provide up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds for use in maritime, oceanic and other corporate enterprise and high-value government applications, and offer affordable satellite-based Community Internet connectivity to the billions of unconnected people — almost anywhere.

Delivering fast, reliable internet from space requires a strong combination of spacecraft and ground network intelligence and interoperability. Viasat has reimagined the most efficient way of communicating to orbit, from previous technologies. Today we announced we're working with Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company, to build and manage the ground infrastructure and fiber network to support our ViaSat-3 satellite system. The relationship will provide us the infrastructure, technology, skills and teams to help make our vision to the connect the world a reality.

The ground network is a collection of earth stations (what we call Satellite Access Nodes, or SANs) connected to the internet by fiber optic cable and spread over large geographic areas. These locations, often called gateways, have antennas aimed at the satellite and serve as the intermediary between the user and the internet.

In a country as large and as sparsely populated as Australia, we needed a partner like Telstra with the proven experience, network reach, capacity and dispersed workforce. By partnering with a world-class leader, we can provide the ground networking capabilities needed to successfully execute our APAC strategy and deliver valuable connectivity services across the region. It's an area that's home to more than half the global population, with 4.1 billion people in 48 countries including Australia.

We plan to leverage Telstra's existing infrastructure for our ground network in APAC to cost-effectively optimize our satellite assets and significantly lower our risk of deployment and operations for our ViaSat-3 terabit-class satellite system. This will enable us to deliver advanced space-based connectivity to fixed and mobile commercial and government customers globally.

Telstra will co-locate our SANs at hundreds of its sites across Australia and will build and manage high-speed fiber links to each site. The network will connect the SAN sites to multiple redundant data centers that will house the core networking equipment needed to manage the expected increase in data traffic.


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