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Astrolink Picks ViaSat For Ka-Band Effort

Bethesda, Md.-
Astrolink International LLC

has hired
ViaSat Inc
. to develop and build Ka-band satellite terminals for Astrolink's forthcoming two-way broadband satellite system, set to launch in 2003. Provided Astrolink's service is successful, ViaSat expects to sell more than $100 million in gear under the agreement, the company said. In turn, Viasat said it plans to market, provision and supply Astrolink's services to customers.

ViaSat's terminals will feature Internet Protocol connectivity and support uplink transmission speeds as high as 20 megabits per second and downlinks up to 100 mbps.

Backed by Lockheed Martin and Liberty Media Group, AstroLink plans initially to deploy high-speed satellites to handle customers in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Additional birds will give it global coverage.