ViaSat UK is expanding beyond its traditional secure storage device market to offer communications services, including satellite broadband for businesses and government departments.
Available immediately under the SurfBeam moniker, ViaSat UK is offering a range of services at different speeds, and includes packages tailored for both fixed and mobile users.
However, the chief selling point is that SurfBeam enables businesses anywhere in the UK to get affordable broadband, according to the firm.
Satellite communications has traditionally been costly and slow in comparison to cable and ADSL consumer services, it added.
"The key thing is that in the past, satellite communications have been extremely expensive, but now what's on offer is a system that is comparable in price to that of a cable network and far more flexible, especially if you are a mobile user," said ViaSat UK chief executive Chris McIntosh.
ViaSat UK is selling services that are actually delivered using Eutelsat's newly lofted KA-band satellite, which was specifically designed for broadband operation.
The SurfBeam services start at 6Mbit/s downlink and 1Mbit/s uplink for £25 per month, with a 10Mbit/s downlink and 4Mbit/s uplink service costing £100 per month. The top-end service provides 20Mbit/s downlink and 10Mbit/s uplink speeds, with price available on request.
While this can provide broadband even in remote rural areas, McIntosh said that ViaSat UK expects most business customers will be from outlying regions of cities.
"The majority of customers we're after aren't necessarily in tiny villages, they are at the edge of metropolitan areas but still can't get cable. For them, we can offer a service comparable to cable," he said.
In fact, the KA satellite service offers customers the exact speed they are paying for, McIntosh claimed, whereas domestic broadband users are often limited by contention with other users.
SurfBeam also includes a mobile, vehicle-mount service for customers such as those in the broadcast media, and a SurfBeam Pro service delivered via a ruggedised portable terminal.
In addition, ViaSat UK is announcing other services aimed more at government and the military, including real-time tracking and situational awareness systems. The company also offers applications for Android and other smartphones that securely encrypt all communications.
ViaSat UK, formerly Stonewood, specialised in encrypted hard drives and other storage devices. The company was acquired by US-based ViaSat last year and is now introducing a broader range of ViaSat's products and services on this side of the Atlantic.
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