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ViaSat-2: Satellite goliath goes into orbit
United Kingdom Created: 14 Jun 2017
The most powerful commercial broadband satellite ever built has just gone into orbit on an Ariane rocket.

ViaSat-2, which is to be stationed above the Americas, has a total throughput capacity of about 300 gigabits per second.

The spacecraft was part of a dual payload on the Ariane flight. It was joined by Eutelsat 172B, a UK/French-built platform to go over the Pacific.

Both satellites will be chasing the rampant market for wi-fi on aeroplanes.

Airlines are currently in a headlong rush to equip their fleets with connections that will allow passengers to use their mobile devices in mid-air.

More than 6,000 commercial aircraft worldwide were offering an onboard wi-fi service in 2016; it is expected more than 17,000 will be doing so by 2021.

In-flight internet has traditionally had a terrible reputation, but there is a feeling now that the latest technology really can give passengers a meaningful slice of bandwidth and at a competitive price.

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Source: BBC, Jonathan Amos, 02 Jun 2017

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