Viasat Inc., a global communications company, announced today it will offer a satellite-enabled Wi-Fi hotspot service—known as ‘Community Wi-Fi’—to nearly all of Mexico. The new service will bring an affordable Wi-Fi experience directly to consumer’s devices, where historically internet service was unavailable or unusable. The service can be deployed with minimal local infrastructure investment, and showcases Viasat’s ability to quickly bring cost-effective internet service to emerging markets where large gaps exist between demand, affordability and availability of internet services.
Successfully bridging the digital divide in Mexico
Since April 2016, Viasat has been conducting ‘Community Wi-Fi’ trials at nearly 500 sites throughout Northern Mexico using its existing satellites and Wi-Fi technologies. Today, these successful deployments cover hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens, where internet service was unavailable prior. With the increase in ViaSat-2 satellite capacity and coverage, the Company expects it can further bridge the global digital divide—reaching millions of people in unconnected towns across Mexico. For more information on how Viasat is bringing ‘Community Wi-Fi’ service to rural communities in Mexico, watch this video.
Deep, unique Wi-Fi domain expertise
In 2014, Viasat acquired managed Wi-Fi provider, NetNearU, which had successfully managed 14 million hotspots as well as operated a managed hotspot network in nearly 30 countries. With this expertise in-house, Viasat has the ability to affordably extend and manage the value and convenience of satellite communications over Wi-Fi hotspots to a growing number of subscribers, from emerging residential markets to enterprises and commercial aviation.
“By leveraging our ViaSat-2 satellite system’s low-cost capacity and higher speeds coupled with our Wi-Fi service expertise, we can deliver a high-quality internet experience—at affordable end-user prices—to millions of unconnected people living in both developed and emerging markets,” said Kevin Cohen, general manager, Consumer Broadband, Viasat Mexico and Central America. “Our work in Mexico is just the first example of how we can scale and monetize our services and capacity globally—while giving people living in underserved and unserved markets new opportunities to join the digital community.”
Viasat launched its commercial service in Mexico with Grupo Prosperist, a local telecommunications and technology service provider.