Enabling Ka-band high-capacity satellite services for Saudi Arabia

by Staff Reporter | April 28th, 2012

 

H.E. Dr. Mohammed ibn Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel of KACST

Representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is leading the transformation of satellite broadband in the KSA.

KACST has selected the high-capacity Ka-band satellite system from ViaSat Inc. as the service platform for its National Satellite Data Network based on the system’s ability to reportedly deliver broadband speeds and a user experience similar to some of the fastest terrestrial broadband services for most applications.

The KACST contract, valued at approximately $70 million, includes gateways, network operation facilities, and end user terminals to implement the services using high-capacity hosted on the Arabsat-5C satellite.

The KACST contract, valued at approximately $70 million, includes gateways, network operation facilities, and end user terminals to implement the services using high-capacity Ka-band capacity hosted on the Arabsat-5C satellite. Arabsat and ViaSat collaborated on the development of Arabsat-5C to add a 10-spot beam, high-capacity Ka-band payload.

“With our National Satellite Data Network we will serve our customers with exceptional speeds and capacity throughout the Kingdom,” said H.E. Dr. Mohammed ibn Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, president of KACST.

As the KSA’s centre for Saudi Arabian national science and its national laboratories, KACST fosters national innovation and technology transfer between research institutes and industry.

In selecting ViaSat, and its KSA team including High Capabilities Technologies Co. Ltd (HICAP) and Modern Technology Co. Ltd (MOTECO), the KSA adds to expanding global Ka-band coverage that includes service networks under the Exede brand by ViaSat in the U.S., Xplornet in Canada, and Eutelsat Tooway across Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

“The key to two-way broadband is maximising capacity or bits available to the end users to be served,” said H.E. Dr. Mohammed ibn Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel. “To accomplish that, our satellite and our satellite services include key attributes from the world-class ViaSat-1 and Eutelsat KA-SAT satellites.”

ViaSat will perform the programme in cooperation with its KSA teammates MOTECO/HICAP.

“We look forward to continuing over 30 years of cooperation with ViaSat as we implement this important programme for KSA,” said Sheikh Farhan AL-Faisal, president and CEO MOTECO and vice president of HICAP.

ViaSat is a vertically integrated high-capacity Ka-band broadband company, providing satellite design, ground infrastructure, and service operation support. The company’s ViaSat-1 satellite is reportedly the highest capacity satellite in the world at 140 Gbps total throughput.

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