The role satellite plays in alternative networks

Highlights from the TBI BIG event “Switching it up – Mobility for alternative networks” panel

Many businesses fall outside of the cable and fiber footprint and rely on alternative networks such as wireless and satellite for broadband connectivity. In fact, these alternative connections are more common throughout the U.S. than you might expect. Last month, Viasat Sales Director, Eric Stark, joined the “Switching it up – Mobility for alternative networks” panel at the TBI BIG event. Steve Roos, VP of Technology and Security at TBI, moderated the session. He shared some eye-opening facts on the demand for alternative networks:

"Enterprise spending on mobile airtime globally now equates to spending on fixed voice and data services, (estimated at $244 billion this year). By 2023, Gartner forecasts show spending on mobile services will be 10.6% higher at $270 billion (compared with $224 billion on fixed services), given a 2.9% global IT budget growth."

“The world has shifted to mobile-first. In fact, this is the first time ever we have more devices than humans. For many mobility has been an area often overlooked, but, with devices out numbering humans it is past time to ensure we are giving mobility the look it is demanding.”

Most channel partners think of cellular service (LTE and 4G) as the only connectivity alternative when cable and fiber is not available. While wireless providers fill many coverage gaps, they simply are not everywhere, and their speeds and signal strength can vary based on how far a customer is to the closest tower. This is where satellite can be a huge asset to any partner’s portfolio of connectivity solutions. Viasat satellite business internet covers 96% of the U.S. population with broadband speeds of 35 x 4 Mbps (download x upload). Additionally, Viasat is also the first and only satellite company to deliver 100 Mbps internet connections.


In the TBI panel, Stark said “One of the myths of satellite is that it is only good for the rural areas,” he continued “but it’s also great in urban areas… and you partners know this, every single one of you has customers that don’t have broadband… sometimes in the hearts of our biggest cities.” When asked what verticals buy satellite the most, he talked about restaurants and retail (any customers that use point of sale), agribusiness, and construction. “The best vertical is when you don’t have good internet!” Underserved or unserved areas can benefit immediately from satellite connectivity.

There is a common misperception that VoIP calls don’t work over satellite, but Viasat has made network adjustments to prioritize third-party VoIP traffic to ensure premium call quality and has developed their own Business Voice product for the SMB customer. (Here’s a quick video overview: In fact, this capability has been demonstrated live at TBI in-person events in the past.

Satellite and wireless also pair well together for customers who can’t afford downtime and want an affordable, redundant connection. Chris Whitaker, Channel Program Chief at Sierra Wireless, spoke to this during the panel, “I’ve actually had a handful partners, that for customers that are mission critical and can’t get fiber or coax, they put in both, a satellite and cellular circuit with SD-WAN, and it works great.”

Whether your customers are maintaining a public presence during COVID, returning to their offices, or plan to continue to work from home, they need high-speed internet now more than ever. When there is no terrestrial broadband, Viasat can get your customers connected fast, typically in just a few days from placing the order.



About Viasat
If you have customers in challenging locations where cable isn’t available, Viasat Business has you covered with broadband internet that can reach almost every business! With nationwide coverage, affordable unlimited data plans, and installation as fast as 3 to 5 business days from placing your order, Viasat is the easy way to service customers who couldn't get fast internet before. And since our internet comes from space, it provides truly diverse network access from traditional providers to give your customers more reliability and availability.