Boeing [NYSE:BA] has awarded ViaSat, Inc. [NASDAQ: VSAT] a contract valued at approximately $57 million to develop the ground-based beam-forming system for the new Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) communications network.

Combined with Boeing-built Geo-Mobile satellites, the system will enable MSV to provide the next-generation of mobile satellite services, making wireless communications more accessible, innovative and cost effective than they are today.

“This contract provides technologies to help ensure the success of the advanced MSV hybrid mobile telecommunications network,” said Stephen T. O’Neill, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “The ground-based beam-forming technology allows for a lighter, more efficient satellite as the backbone of the system. Keeping the technology on the ground instead of in orbit means we can upgrade the system as technology advances.”

ViaSat also will build the calibration earth stations and the control and management subsystems.
The MSV satellites will process signals transmitted to and from four North American ground stations into hundreds of narrow spot beams across the coverage area. Boeing will incorporate flexible satellite technology using proven digital channelizers to maximize bandwidth sharing between the satellite and earth-based networks. MSV plans to offer advanced mobile communications and data services to the public in a handset similar to today’s cell phones.

The proven Geo-Mobile spacecraft are planned to cover North American subscribers and will be among the largest and most powerful commercial satellites ever built. The spacecraft design incorporates a primary antenna measuring about 75 feet in diameter. The satellites will be designed, integrated and tested at Boeing’s Satellite Development Center (SDC) in El Segundo, Calif. The SDC is the leading manufacturer of government and commercial communications satellites. The nearly 1 million square foot state-of-the-art facility is the largest dedicated satellite factory in the world.