10 April 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Viasat, the global satellite company, will now offer a satellite-enabled Wifi hotspot service called Community Wifi to most of Mexico.
The new offering will bring affordable Wifi directly to
consumers’ devices in areas where traditionally
internet connectivity was unavailable. Viasat says that the
service can be installed with minimal investment in local
infrastructure and will bridge the gap between demand,
affordability and availability of internet services.
Commenting on the launch, Kevin
Cohen, general manager of consumer broadband at Viasat Mexico
and Central America, said: "By leveraging our ViaSat-2
satellite system’s low-cost capacity and higher
speeds coupled with our Wifi service expertise, we can deliver
a high-quality internet experience—at affordable
end-user prices—to millions of unconnected people
living in both developed and emerging markets. Our work in
Mexico is just the first example of how we can scale and
monetize our services and capacity globally—while
giving people living in underserved and unserved markets new
opportunities to join the digital community."
Viasat has been carrying out Community Wifi trials since
2016 at over 500 sites in Northern Mexico using its existing
satellites and Wifi technologies. To date these deployments
serve hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens but because of
the increase in the ViaSat-2 satellite capacity and coverage,
the company expects it to reach millions of people in
unconnected towns across Mexico.
In addition, because of Viasat’s acquisition of
managed Wifi provider, NetNearU, the company was able to
leverage its expertise in having successfully managed 14
million hotspots and a managed hotspot network in nearly 30
countries, to affordably extend and manage satellite
communications over Wifi hotspots to a growing number of
subscribers, from emerging residential markets to enterprises
and commercial aviation.
The Community Wifi service has been launched in partnership
with Grupo Prosperist, a local telecommunications and
technology service provider.
Back in February, Viasat deployed a 100Mbps home internet
service across US. As well as fast speeds the new service
offers unlimited data plans to its customers, giving them more
freedom and access to more online service, without having to
pay overage charges.