Yahsat Broadband Service To Use ViaSat Technology

by

Startup Middle East satellite operator Yahsat has selected ViaSat Inc.’s SurfBeam 2 technology for its YahClick satellite consumer-broadband service under a contract valued at $46 million including four ground gateways, a network control center and an initial batch of user terminals, ViaSat announced Oct. 8.

Based in the United Arab Emirates, the Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. is building two large telecommunications satellites scheduled for launch in 2011. Part of the capacity has been reserved for regional government and military customers, and part of its Ku-band capacity will be used by YahLive, a joint venture between Yahsat and satellite fleet operator SES of Luxembourg to offer satellite television in the Middle East.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat said SurfBeam 2 has already been selected to bring to market “well over 200 gigabits per second of aggregate satellite capacity serving four continents in the next few years.” Chief among those satellites is ViaSat’s own ViaSat-1 satellite, which is scheduled for launch in early 2011 and has a capacity of 130 gigabits per second.

YahClick will use Ka-band spot-beam capacity on the second of the two Yahsat satellites, Yahsat 1B, to be launched in late 2011. Yahsat Chief Executive Jassem al-Zaabi said in a statement that his company hopes to bring “cost-effective high-speed Internet to millions of people.”

The YahClick coverage area includes the Middle East and eastward to parts of Central Asia, in addition to selected nations in eastern, western and southern Africa.