If ViaSat's relentless objections to Row 44's antenna-pointing has done anything it has held antenna makers' feet to the fire in terms of meeting performance criteria.
That means that ViaSat will need to show FCC regulators that it can meet its own expectations, which are high, very high. But it also means that new entrants now know exactly what they are facing before they enter the game.
Take the teaming of Qest and Tecom, for example. They have come together to bring their Ku-band anntena system, dubbed the KuStream 1000, to market. And they believe the combined product will pass muster with even the most particular of antagonists.
I've obtained an early copy of the product brochure. Click on the pic for more details or check out the entire brochure here:
But here are some things you should know:
1) At the end of November 2008, the performance parameters of Qest's horn array aperture were verified in an anechoic chamber. "Meeting all relevant, stringent FCC criteria for airborne Ku band antennas in transmit mode up to a geographical skew angle of min. +/- 35 degrees, the Qest aperture takes an outstanding competitive position," says the firm.
2) In the middle of December, the first functional prototype of the antenna system was assembled and successfully powered-on at Tecom's premises in California; it has been intensively tested since then.
3) Since mid-January of this year, selected customers have been given fully functional system demos at the Tecom location. While testing internet connections over satellite, transmit data rates of > 2 Mbit/s are obtained on a regular basis, says Qest.
4) Currently, Tecom and Qest are finalizing a first flight test prototype of the antenna system; start of serial production is planned for middle of 2009.
5) Named KuStream 1000, this antenna system will be shown from 24-27 March in Washington DC at the "Satellite 09" exhibition (Tecom booth # 296), and one week later at the "Aircraft Interiors Expo" at Qest's booth.
6) An internet site about the antenna system will go live very soon - www.kustream.com