Eutelsat has entered into a pioneering agreement with ViaSat to link high-capacity Ka-band satellite networks.

Under it, the two parties will have service access and roaming on each other’s high-capacity satellite networks (KA-SATfor Eutelsat and ViaSat-1 for ViaSat).

Both Ka-band networks, representing well over half of all Ka-band capacity on orbit worldwide, share the same high-capacity satellite ecosystem, enabled by the ViaSat Broadband System, along with other ground infrastructure owned and operated by Eutelsat and ViaSat. The resulting high-capacity service area will span North America, Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

Customers will be able to operate an array of fixed and mobile services including in-flight connectivity, maritime, emergency relief, oil and gas operations and government applications anywhere within the combined coverage areas.

The agreement includes provisions for future satellites and follow-on technologies as they complement current Eutelsat and ViaSat High Throughput Satellites.

That future includes ViaSat-2, scheduled for launch in 2016, which is designed to cover a broader footprint in North America, Central America, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and to bridge the North Atlantic to form a blanket of high-capacity coverage across the region.

Commenting on the deal, Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO, said: “This formalises another step towards covering the high traffic areas of the world with the fastest, most affordable mobile broadband satellite connectivity.

“Extending our long-standing relationship with Eutelsat enables us to provide the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi available on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat chairman and CEO, added: “Working with ViaSat, we can extend to North America the high quality of service we already provide clients in Europe through KA-SAT, and bridge the two satellite systems with the addition of ViaSat-2. We believe this feature will be a real plus for companies providing mobile services and who need to move around user equipment from region to region.”