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HomeEditor’s PicksWhat are Very High Throughput Satellites and Why are They Important?

What are Very High Throughput Satellites and Why are They Important?

Source: ViaSat


Very High Throughput (VHTS) are a more advanced generation of high throughput satellites (HTS) that provide even greater data transmission capacity and higher data rates than traditional HTS.

VHTS will service the same markets as HTS.

Key Features of VHTS

Key features of very high throughput satellites include:

Feature Description
Greater capacity VHTS systems can offer capacities in the terabits-per-second (Tbps) range, significantly higher than traditional HTS, which usually operate in the gigabits-per-second (Gbps) range.
Enhanced frequency reuse VHTS satellites use advanced frequency reuse techniques and more spot beams to maximize the available bandwidth and further minimize interference between adjacent beams, leading to better spectral efficiency.
Advanced technologies VHTS satellites may employ digital channelization, flexible payloads, inter-satellite optical communication links, and on-board processing to adapt to changing user demands, traffic patterns, and coverage requirements, optimizing the use of resources and overall system performance.
Improved user experience The higher data rates and capacities provided by VHTS satellites enable better user experiences, particularly for data-intensive applications like video streaming, telemedicine, and cloud-based services.
Expanded coverage VHTS satellites can support a greater number of users and cover larger geographic areas, making them well-suited to provide broadband connectivity to remote or underserved regions.
Flexible payloads VHTS satellites may feature reconfigurable payloads that enable operators to adapt to changing demands, coverage requirements, or traffic patterns. This flexibility helps optimize the use of satellite resources and ensures efficient delivery of services to end-users.

Example VHTS Satellites

Here are some examples of planned VHTS systems:


Viasat's ViaSat-3 constellation is a planned series of three VHTS satellites designed to offer global coverage. Each satellite is expected to have a capacity of around 1 Tbps, providing broadband services to residential, commercial, and users. The first ViaSat-3 satellite, covering the Americas, is scheduled to in 2023.

Source: ViaSat


The SES mPOWER constellation, planned by SES, is a series of seven VHTS satellites operating in the Ka-band. These satellites are designed to offer flexible and scalable coverage with capacities in the terabits-per-second range. The first two mPOWER satellite were launched in 2022.

Source: SES

Telesat Lightspeed

Telesat, a Canadian satellite operator, announced the Telesat Lightspeed constellation, which is a planned low Earth orbit () system comprising 188 VHTS satellites. The Telesat Lightspeed system is designed to offer high-speed, low-latency broadband services for a variety of applications, including commercial and government communications. They are expected to start launching satellites in 2025 and offering service in 2026.



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