Infrastructure and Network

Avanti, Viasat ramp up Ka-band coverage at sea

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Avanti's fleet of Hylas satellites will be used to provide Ka-band capacity across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, following a long-term lease agreement with Viasat.

Viasat will extend the capacity to customers of Viasat Energy Services, the new Viasat arm established last year following Viasat's acquisition of RigNet. That closed in April 2021 and paved the way Viasat to expand into adjacent industries, such as renewable energy, transportation, maritime, mining and other enterprise markets.

With the strategy now coming to life, Viasat Energy Services plans to leverage Avanti's Hylas capacity from Q3 this year across the North Sea and Western Africa.

Avanti's chief of strategy and business development, Toby Robinson, said: "We are delighted to extend our relationship with Viasat and to support them in the delivery of high-speed satellite data connectivity across the North Sea, Middle East and Western Africa. The energy sector is a high growth vertical for satellite connectivity, and this capacity agreement will serve Viasat well, enabling them to offer seamless connectivity capabilities in the hardest to reach locations across multiple geographies."

Although the offshore industry has long been an established customer for capacity services, its ongoing digitalisation is gaining pace, driving demand for new solutions.

For example, OneWeb and Marlink have teamed up to deliver OneWeb’s connectivity to the maritime, energy, enterprise and humanitarian sectors operating above the 50th parallel north (50 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane), with services already due to be expanded in early 2023.

Singtel recently made similar moves with Its iSHIP solution, announced in May. That can assist with crew and resource management, as well as decarbonisation. And Tampnet has deployed Ericsson's IoT Accelerator to offer IoT connectivity to the offshore industry. In this case, Tampnet said this will result improved operational efficiency and worker safety, "while reducing the carbon footprint at some of the world’s toughest and remotest workplaces".

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