Viasat’s European network is experiencing a partial outage. The issue, related to its Ka-SAT satellite, is currently affecting service for multiple fixed broadband customers across the region.
Fractional jet ownership leader Flexjet will add Viasat’s in-flight connectivity products to portions of its fleet, bringing high-speed internet service to its owner/passengers.
Viasat now owns 100% of the KA-SAT satellite providing service over Europe. The company closed today on its purchase of Euro Broadband Infrastructure Sàrl (“EBI”), the wholesale broadband services business created as part of Viasat’s former partnering arrangement with Eutelsat Communications.
KLM’s short-haul WiFi service went live this week, just under six months after the carrier announced plans to update the fleet. The first two aircraft with the Viasat Ka-band satellite connectivity officially activated for passengers, with a free week before the regular, three-tier pricing plans kick in.
We’re a couple years out from the ViaSat-3 satellite delivering a massive boost in Ka-band satellite capacity over Europe, but Viasat is ready to scale up its offerings on the continent. The company will buy out Eutelsat’s stake in their joint venture (“EBI”) for 140 million euro, giving Viasat full control over the wholesale business as well as the KA-SAT satellite.
KLM is moving forward with plans to equip its single-aisle aircraft with in-flight WiFi service. The company will install Viasat’s Ka-band satellite connectivity solution on the “majority of its European fleet.”
Eutelsat has big new plans for selling retail broadband services across Europe. The company will acquire Bigblu Broadband (excluding its Nordics operations) for 38 million GBP. The deal brings approximately 50,000 customers into the network.
More Ka-band capacity should be online soon. Eutelsat’s KONNECT satellite successfuly launched last week and is now raising to its geostationary orbit location to serve Europe and North Africa. ANd that could be good news for Viasat as well.
For a company that is now mostly known for its Ku-band inflight connectivity offering the idea of bringing Ka-band services online in parallel may appear somewhat incongruous. But for Gogo, the news out this morning that it is pitching Ka-band solutions to potential customers is, according to CEO Oakleigh Thorne, more about holding fast to its plans.
Add another half dozen planes to the backlog, and a new type for Viasat’s inflight connectivity platform. EL AL will fit its 777 fleet with the Ka-band wifi service in the coming year.