ViaSat's new satellite, ViaSat1, was headed for its geosynchronous orbital slot, its solar array deployed, and in-orbit testing in November. With 140 Gbps throughput capacity, the new bird is designed to serve the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade.

Once on station, the Ka-band spot beam satellite will include coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services. ViaSat-1 joins WildBlue-1, Anik F2 and AMC-15 as capacity available for provision of WildBlue high-speed Internet access across America.

According to ViaSat, the download and upload speeds available on ViaSat-1 will be much faster than anything previously offered in the satellite industry and will transform the quality of satellite broadband. In 2012, the company is slated to begin delivering its newest service to airline passengers aboard JetBlue Airways and Continental Airlines.

Meanwhile ViaSat has expanded the coverage of its Yonder high-speed Internet service over Brazil and the surrounding region. The StarOne C1 satellite is providing the bandwidth and a ViaSat regional teleport has been installed and commissioned in Rio de Janeiro. The new region of the network is operational for maritime and aviation customers of the Yonder network.

The added coverage in South America automatically becomes available to Yonder service customers. ViaSat officials say the company remains on target to complete the full deployment of it network by the end of 2012.

Although the air carriers remain, for now, largely “seat centric” in their IFE offerings, streaming wireless is here to stay (for now) and more of this trend is in the works with almost all system suppliers. While not cheap to implement (again, for now), Wi-Fi reduces weight and wires. Maybe there's an app for that, too. BCA