VSAT satellite systems offer the highest bandwidth data connections ranging from 128Kbps to 6Mbps. The 308 SYSTEMS VSAT hardware utilizes smaller traditional dish equipment to provide transmit/receive Internet connections through geostationary satellites in the Ku and Ka bands. The user equipment is typically multiple small packages containing a deployable antenna system(.75m to 1.2m), antenna controller, modem/router, and 3w, 4w or 6w Block Up Converter(BUC). For data access, the VSAT system is connected to the TAC-PAK laptop via an Ethernet cable. More difficult to use, the VSAT system is the most technically complex of the TAC-PAK satphone options.
When using the VSAT system in the field, the user must be aware that the satellites are also geostationary. In order for the user to acquire a satellite signal, you must be able to see the geostationary satellite above southern horizon. Thus, if there is a building(i.e. – downtown New York), valley(i.e.- mountains of West Virginia), or other obstruction between the user and the geostationary satellite, the VSAT satphone will not work. To alleviate this issue, we have developed our “SATPAK” repeater technology which enables placement of the satellite antenna high in a LOS position, and then relay the data signals up to 2 miles downrange from the mountain/building to the TAC-PAK operating location.
Various Ku and Ka band satellite service providers are available and unlimited bandwidth can be purchased in hourly/daily/weekly/monthly packages ranging from $13/min to $56k/month for up to 4.5mbps dedicated bandwidth. A typical unlimited 512mbps up/dn package would be approximately $3,000/wk. Hardware costs are typically $20 – 100k for auto acquire packages, and 10-40k for manual pointing packages.