Viasat to use Wi-Fi hotspots to bring all of Mexico online
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Viasat to use Wi-Fi hotspots to bring all of Mexico online

Satellite internet company Viasat will use its “Community Wi-Fi” program to bridge a digital divide in Mexico, offering affordable Wi-Fi hotspots all around the country. This service will function even in places where Wi-Fi has traditionally been unavailable, such as rural areas. According to Viasat, the service “can be deployed with minimal local infrastructure investment” and should be able to bring the whole country online cheaply.

Viasat’s share price rose by more than 2% yesterday

graph 1804 viasat 

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Viasat has been conducting Community Wi-Fi trials since April 2016, and has placed the technology in almost 500 sites throughout Northern Mexico. It’s able to deliver the service through its existing satellites and Wi-Fi infrastructure – an important consideration in keeping costs down. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens who live in places that were previously unsuitable for Wi-Fi are already using this solution to access the internet, and the company is confident it can increase that number.

Key to the delivery of this service is the company’s increased capacity and coverage abilities, provided by the ViaSat 2 Satellite service, which Viasat says could enable millions more previously offline Mexcans to go online. Another important component is the company’s in-house Wi-Fi technology, which it acquired along with NetNearU in 2014. This company had previously managed 14 million hotspots, and had networks in almost 30 countries. Viasat has been able to build on this expertise, and intends to continue doing so.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Viasat in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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