How Does Satellite Internet Work?

Multiple AVL mobile satellite antennas deployed

Satellite Internet, Satellite TV, VoIP, and VPN Frequently Asked Questions

What products does Mobil Satellite Technologies sell?

Expedition Communications manufactures the DataSat line of mobile satellite antenna systems, which is built to run on our dedicated iDirect network. We also resell for many other manufactures such as AVL, Winegard, and C-Com and provide alternative satellite connections such as Viasat. Viasat has a proven track record for high speed, self-installed units, and successful mobile solutions. We know these products from the ground up, and will support you 9AM -9PM EST, seven days a week, with our U.S. based technical support department. Whether our private iDirect network, Viasat, or HughesNet, we can get you set up.



Who do I buy my monthly access from?

Expedition Communications manages its own iDirect satellite internet network which is compatible with all of our Ku-band satellite antennas. You may also use our line of satellite equipment (unless purchased in a bundle) with most other iDirect providers. We also offer monthly access for Viasat and HughesNet, and can provide equipment for those networks as well.

What is the difference between a Ku-Band and Ka-Band network?

A Ka-band network operates with a small number of satellites that broadcast bandwidth across a wide area. Our in-house iDirect network, for example, covers all of North America, Mexico, and much of Canada and the Caribbean. Ka-band networks, however, have a large number of much more focused satellites. These satellite constellations create spot-beams of service across a given service area.


What is the difference between a .98 and a 1.2 meter satellite dish?

A 1.2 Meter satellite dish has a diameter of about 4 feet (48 inches), whereas a .98 Meter dish has a diameter of about 3′ 4″ (39 inches). Generally, while a .98 will work in most areas, the 1.2, being a bigger dish, will get a better signal. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the antenna, the greater the potential bandwidth and the less environmental factors play into the quality of signal.

Can I connect any type of computer to the mobile system?

Yes, All VSAT satellite systems have wired or wireless connections to create a standard local area network for any type of computer or wireless device.

Can I be connected to the internet while traveling?

Unfortunately, no. All land based mobile VSAT dish systems require the vehicle be parked in order to connect, and can even be damaged by the vehicle traveling while deployed. However, marine antennas can be used while under way, and there are also in-motion BGAN satellite domes that will work while in motion, but service fees are much higher than VSAT (satellite dish) service.

The Cobham Explorer 727 BGAN terminal is one of our most popular options.

Will the mobile system fit and operate on my rig, trailer, or vehicle roof?

Most vehicle approved mobile antennas can be installed and operate on any vehicle, as long as the dish has room to fully lift and rotate in place. If mounting on top of a vehicle roof, make sure to review the dimensions of the dish in question to make sure it is clear. If our satellite internet antenna cannot fit on your roof, we are able to manufacture a folding platform on the side of your vehicle.

Mobil Satellite Technologies also manufactures and sells custom-built, self-contained communications trailers and flyaway systems.


How does the dish find the satellite?

On most mobile antennas, simply press a single button on the controller will deploy the dish. Some have a web based controller, so the unit can be deployed from a computer, while others will deploy as soon as they are powered on. As long as it can find a signal, the antenna will lock on to the satellite and peak the dish, usually within 3 to 9 minutes. Once the satellite is found, you should be online within 5 minutes.

How hard is it to stow and reconnect the satellite dish when changing locations?

Just as deploying the antenna, most can be stowed with the push of a button on the front panel or, if available, from the web interface and the dish will stow automatically. Once you arrive at the new location, simply press on the appropriate button and the unit will deploy.

Simply click ‘search’ or ‘stow’ when moving from location to location.

How does the weather affect the satellite connection?

Usually, cloud coverage and light rain will not affect the connection. Snow, heavy rain and dense cloud coverage can all cause disruption in service. Generally, the larger the dish, the less weather will hinder performance. High wind speed also factors in as well. Stronger wind may be able to sway some dishes, which can temporarily disrupt service.

Can a satellite dish be used for both internet and television?

Some systems do have an option to be used for satellite TV at the same time as the internet. We do also offer dedicated mobile TV antennas. We are also a reseller for DirecTV.

Does Mobil Satellite Technologies offer telephone solutions?

Expedition Communications is a provider of VoIP services that have been optimized for satellite connectivity. We sell multiple VoIP devices, preconfigured to a provisioning server, to facilitate updates and changes to services.

Can the system be installed at my location?

Yes. We have trained installation technicians that can travel to your location to install the system, or we will work with you to find a local installed. We also offer installations done in our offices in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Are there ever changes or updates needed on the modem?

Absolutely, we have a knowledgeable support department that will work with you for any hardware or services that were purchased from us, as long as they are under warranty. Our support staff is based here in the United States, and in the offices from 9AM to 9PM Est, 7 days a week.

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