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A Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is a device (also known as an “earth station”) that is used to send and receive wireless transmissions by satellite. Millions of VSATs are in use around the world, allowing people to send and receive two-way data, voice or video transmissions by bouncing signals off of satellites in orbit.

Satellite networks send and receive data via high-frequency radio waves relayed off a satellite in orbit, providing a single continent-wide wireless last-mile solution. VSAT networks are designed in a hub-and-spoke fashion, with customer locations connecting directly over the air to a central “hub” facility. At the central hub facility, a large dish/antenna (often 30 feet or more in diameter) and hub server equipment receive and transmit to the remote sites, and route information to and from the Internet or private networks.

VSAT networks can be used for Internet access, or they can be connected from the hub facility directly to a corporate data center or application service provider such as a credit card authorization provider. VSAT networks may have anywhere from one to tens of thousands of remote VSATs communicating with a single hub.

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