Viasat, a U.S. commercial satellite operator, has sought cooperation of the Nigerian government to deploy satellite-based broadband services in the country.
Viasat wants the Nigerian telecoms regulator to approve and allow it to use the 28 GHz KA frequency band in the country to provide cost-effective Internet connectivity and high throughput satellite connectivity through its incorporated Nigerian subsidiary, Viasat Nigeria.
Viasat has invested over $2.2 billion globally on geostationary satellite services, with footprint in the Nigerian space towards bridging extant digital divide in the country, according to the company.
The Viasat top management team rolled out its Nigeria satellite broadband deployment plan during a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja, Engr. Augustine Nwalunne, Director, Spectrum Administration at the telecoms regulatory agency says in a statement.
Viasat’s request to Nigeria to be issued the 28 GHz (27.5-29.5 GHz), the portion of the Ka band, part of the core satellite spectrum used to deliver broadband globally, comes amid growing deployment and rapid expansion of use of the key communication resource.
Viasat has also announced the planned deployment of Viasat-3 satellites equipped with more capacity to cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2021, and the Asia-Pacific region by 2022.
Under the plan, Viasat, originally a satellite operator but now a satellite operator and satellite services provider, wants to explore stakes in cost-effective Internet connectivity via satellite and provide high throughput satellite connectivity services in Nigeria.
Visat plans to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) test in Abuja in 2020, and will follow with roll-out in a yet-to-be-disclosed community, and subsequently extend the services across an undisclosed state before extending the broadband satellite services nationwide by 2022.
The Viasat’s GTH satellite services is targeting homes, governments, schools as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to the satellite company which expressed confidence that its services will be beneficial to unserved and underserved areas of Nigeria.
NCC’s Nwalunne describes the planned satellite broadband rollout by Viasat as a “strategic boost to Federal Government’s plan to deepen digital culture.”
According to the Viasat website, its ViaSat-3 constellation is planned to offer eight times the capacity of its current satellite fleet combined.
Accord to the the company, when fully-optimized, Viasat’s global constellation will be able to dynamically move bandwidth around the globe to where demand exists, in order to:
- Bring affordable satellite-enabled Community Wi-Fi to the billions of unconnected people in emerging markets;
- Support thousands of commercial, business and senior leader government aircraft—at any given time—with hundreds of Mbps of data for advanced in-flight entertainment, connectivity and streaming services;
- Provide up to 1-Gbps speeds for use in enterprise applications, which is comparable to ground-based fiber optic network speeds
- Enable U.S. and Five Eye militaries to leverage artificial intelligence and cloud-based and applications over a highly-resilient, assured network at the tactical edge; and
- Deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for residential internet and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.