Our new satellite has spread its (solar) wings!

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  • Updated 3 months ago
It's a long journey up to its orbital slot, but our latest satellite, ViaSat-2, just completed a couple of major milestones: deploying its solar arrays and finishing the chemical propulsion part of its journey. From here on out, the electrical propulsion subsystem finishes the rest of the orbit raising process. As you can see from this illustration, the VS-2 satellite has a very different configuration of its solar panels — two super-long arrays vs. the cross-shaped config of ViaSat-1. Read more here.



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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Posted 1 year ago

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Bev, Champion

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One step closer to coming online. YAY :)
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Gwalk900, Champion

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Best of luck to ViaSat-2 !


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Deku, Champion

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YAY!!! :D I to also wish best of luck to viasat-2 also :D CANT WAIT TILL IT COMES ONLINE :D
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Christina Swenson

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Will this finally allow the freedom plan in my area? DATA plan is not working for me!
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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We anticipate that since this will double our ENTIRE bandwidth that we have now, we will see much more robust plans more widely available. We will likely announce plans closer to when we can start making our offers (looking at early 2018 as the satellite will take quite some time to settle in)
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Christina Swenson

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Early 2018?? That's disappointing. I'm really unhappy with the current plans available in my area and I am stuck in a contract. The service that Exede is currently providing is just not good enough! Had I know it would take so long to get a plan that works for me I never would have signed up! I really wish I wasn't given such an inaccurate data quote before I signed up. 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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These satellites take months to get settled in before we're handed the keys to use it. I mean this post was weeks after it was launched and it was just spreading the solar wings which is one of the first steps. It's just a few months away and we'd rather it be sooner than later but it unfortunately take these satellites time to get ready once in space. In the meantime new plans come and go so I'd recommend routinely checking my.exede.com so that you can see if a bigger plan releases in your area. Liberty 50 and some Freedom plans just appeared in areas a month or two ago that previously didn't add them so keep an eye out in the meantime. You can also email us at exedelistens@viasat.com if you want us to look over your data usage as well.
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ndscott

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Hi -  Satellites are terrific looking space toys, a tribute to man's intelligence and innovation. That slow rotation and ballet and beauty of the technology always stuns me a little. So I'm happy to see you get more of them.

I have no major complaints about service or speeds overall. Occasionally there's a hiccup for a day or even two or three at the outside, but overall I can just get service folks on the phone and everything gets taken care of with a minimum of hassle. 

Anyway, I read a comment on this thread that the new satellite will double bandwidth for the company? Good news. Do they anticipate faster speeds for customers and/or will that require a plan change do you think?

I'm a rural customer and I read everywhere that US speeds for those of us living in the back 40 are measurably slower than what urban customers experience --- but also in the same article I read that a few of our Musk, Zucker-FB, Google, Bezos innovators and manufacturers with big ideas and equally big cash buckets to back them up, are putting into motion ideas to change rural speeds globally. 

It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Any forecasts you have, from where you sit, would be welcome. 
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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That is correct. Right now the lion's share of bandwidth is on ViaSat 1 for our Exede product (although there's a lot of old Wildblue accounts out there). With ViaSat 2 we'll be able to share the workload and what we're anticipating is more robust plans. Streaming is a constant thorn in our side I mean 4 HD movies alone can cripple the data of some of our lower tier plans due to the data it uses so a focus for the new stuff is to allow data limits that'll cater more to this activity. Ping rate is something no matter how many satellites we stash up in space the speed of light is something that'll restrict our ping rate so that will be unchanged so some games will have issues even with the latest greatest tech because a lot of First Person Shooter games rely on a faster ping rate than we can offer. I think maybe towards the end of the year we'll have details as to what will be offered. We're super excited about this and can't wait!
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Sarah

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Wish yr new satellite would be able to KEEP my TIME CDT ON my Voip! Instead of Texas or Outer Mongolia! Sarah Johns Goodman
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johnny c

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Excellent progress your customer base should view this a one step closer to improved speeds and data allowances.

Congratulations.
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wm4bama, Champion

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Just my opinion, but speeds on VS-1, especially on very congested beams (which are most beams) will improve only if enough current VS-1 customers switch to VS-2 after it is operational, which will free up bandwidth on VS-1.

We saw the same happen for original WB customers after VS-1 was put into service and existing customer switched from their classic services to the new Exede bird.  I was on an Anik-F2 beam and gradually got faster speeds as existing customers switched to the new VS-1 plans, which I eventually did.

So I'd expect by the middle of 2018 that customers staying on VS-1 will start to see noticeable improvements and probably offered new plans with more bandwidth and faster speeds...


http://www.exede.com/history-of-exede/
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I believe this is very much what we anticipate. Some folks will be migrated over and that'll give some relief to some of those heavier used areas in the country.
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briman

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If someone becomes a customer now will they need new equipment if migrated to new VS-2?  
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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According to an earlier response by Exede Alex, ViaSat employee, you will not require new equipment, but is you choose to go on the new satellite, your dish would have to be adjusted to the new satellite.
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briman

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thanks Steve 
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Steve/briman: If you do migrate from VS-1 to VS-2, you will need all-new equipment. Originally it was planned that the Wi-Fi modem would be forward compatible, but upgrades to the network made that impossible. 
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briman

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Alex,
 ah ok....thanks for clearing that up.
 so it would probably be best to wait until early 2018 for the new VS-2. 
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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Thanks for that update Alex.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Briman...most definitely yes!
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briman

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@VeteranSatUser :D 
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Ron Frank

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I have stuck with Exede through all this turmoil since the original proposed launch date.  I can only hope revolutionary new service comes with this revolutionary new satellite.  I hope Exede remembers us loyal customers that stuck it out with them and takes care of us through this change over process.  I am so jealous of my friends who can drop their TV and stream!  I dropped my phone and went Exede voice, and I would SO love to drop my satellite TV and quit paying that $100 a month to watch the same shows over and over and over all day!  Its so peaceful living in rural America, but with no cable, DSL or cell service here it kinda sucks.  Between our current dishes, and all the abandoned ones previous occupants left our house looked like a NASA installation!  It would be awesome to have ONE DISH and be able to live the same quality of life people with land lines can.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Cord-cutting is something that has REALLY become a popular option. ViaSat 2 is something we're looking forward to very much and we plan to have plans that will cater to streaming which cord cutting apps you'd find on a Roku, FireTV, Apple TV or Chromecast would fall under. 
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Jim

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I'll believe it when I see it. We got suckered into signing up and we're promised the world, but didn't even get *. we can't stream Netflix or any other service without excessive buffering. It sucks, paying $86/month and getting $1 worth of service.
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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This is a year old thread but I feel I should answer it. At the time of this comment VIaSat-2 was just launched from South America a few weeks prior. It wouldn't be until February 2018 when we would actually roll out the service...it took a long time before it was ready. Our plans were not solidified then but I do not feel anything I said then is wholly inaccurate. I think our plans do open more availability for streaming compared to the norm a year ago when I think MOST areas saw a Liberty 25 plan at best and Freedom Plan was the ever so rare "unicorn plan". 

With that said I don't know if I would ever comfortably fully endorse cord cutting on this forum and that's just because the amount of content an individual may watch. Someone may watch a few hours a week while others will surpass that person's viewing total in a day! With satellite being finite in bandwidth there's going to be some sort of barrier. The unlimited plans have an inflection point where you may be deprioritized after a certain amount of data is used but that is kicked in during peak hours. I know in this response I used the word "cater" and I still think this is accurate as the new plans are more streaming friendly than before when considering data limits on the norm at the time.

With that said a few things can be factored here:

- If you are on a Unlimited plan you might be trying to stream at a higher resolution than your plan allows. All plans are capped at a resolution limit and that's not always detected by services like Netflix (which sets automatically at HD) so if you're like on a Bronze plan, you can stream at 380p (slightly below SD norm of 480p) and if you try to stream on default settings you're going to certainly see buffering.

- If you are on ViaSat-1 you MIGHT benefit with moving to ViaSat-2 (you will have the white pyramid modem...if you don't you're still on the ViaSat-1 satellite, ViaSat-2 requires different equipment and a service call and customers are not automatically switched over.) Some areas the move is very beneficial considering speeds. We can consult if you'd like at viasatlistens@viasat.com

-Of course if you surpass a certain point you may see the deprioritization.

I would recommend above all else to email us at viasatlistens@viasat.com if you have any follow up questions or concerns.

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