ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has received an $18 million contract award from Skylogic, the broadband subsidiary of Eutelsat Communications (Eutelsat Communications-Euronext Paris: ETL) for broadband gateway earth stations for the previously announced high-capacity KA-SAT Ka-band satellite system.
ViaSat is under contract to deliver and install eight broadband earth stations throughout Europe, as well as provide maintenance and support services. The earth station gateways are designed to connect subscribers of Eutelsat Tooway™ satellite broadband service to the Internet. The ViaSat ground infrastructure will be available for the KA-SAT launch scheduled for mid-2010. The Tooway service operated by Eutelsat broadband subsidiary Skylogic, is already supplying consumer broadband service using the Eutelsat HOT BIRD™ 6 and Eurobird™ 3 satellites and the ViaSat SurfBeam® networking system. KA-SAT is a high capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite with planned coverage over Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. With a capacity estimated at 70 Gbps, KA-SAT is expected to be (at launch) the highest capacity satellite in the world. KA-SAT is a European counterpart to ViaSat-1, a Ka-band satellite designed to deliver 100 Gbps of broadband capacity to the North American market, with a planned launch in 2011.