What is VSAT technology?
VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is a satellite
communications system that serves home and business users. A VSAT end user needs a box that
interfaces between the user's computer and an outside antenna with a transceiver. The tranceiver
receives or sends a signal to a satellite transponder
in the sky. The satellite sends and receives signals from an earth station computer that acts as a
hub for the system. Each end user is interconnected with the hub station via the satellite in a
star topology. For one end user to communicate with another, each transmission has to first go to
the hub station which retransmits it via the satellite to the other end user's VSAT. VSAT handles
data, voice, and video signals.
VSAT is used both by home users who sign up with a large service such as DirecPC and by private
companies that operate or lease their own VSAT systems. VSAT offers a number of advantages over
terrestrial alternatives. For private applications, companies can have total control of their own
communication system without dependence on other companies. Business and home users also get higher
speed reception than if using ordinary telephone service or ISDN.
This was first published in September 2004