Viasat Prepares Next-Generation of Ultra-High Capacity Satellites to Connect the World
CARLSBAD, Calif., June 12, 2018 – The world is transitioning to full digitization; every two or three years the bandwidth consumption doubles, and in the course of the last year the number of people connected to the internet passed 4 billion, according to data from We Are Social and Hootsuite. With only half of the world’s population connected, there are opportunities for new technologies to come forward to bridge the digital divide and give unconnected people ways to join the digital community.
With this in mind, global communications company, Viasat, is bringing a new generation of satellites—known as the ViaSat-3 constellation—to the world. The ViaSat-3 constellation will be comprised of three ViaSat-3 class satellites and state-of-the-art ground infrastructure to serve broadband connectivity to the world. Once launched, each ViaSat-3 satellite will be able to deliver 100+ Megabit per second (Mbps) residential internet service—enough to enable 4K video streaming.
The first two ViaSat-3 satellites are expected to deliver more than twice the total network capacity of the approximately 400 commercial communications satellites in space today – combined. When the third ViaSat-3 satellite goes live, Viasat will become the first global internet service provider, making internet affordable and accessible to millions of people in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.
The ViaSat-3 satellite payloads are being built at Viasat’s Tempe, Arizona facility. The first ViaSat-3 class satellite will cover the Americas and is expected to go into service in 2020; the second ViaSat-3 class satellite will cover Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and is expected to launch about six-months after the first; and a third ViaSat-3 satellite is planned to launch in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market.
Continuous satellite broadband innovation
Viasat has been pushing the limits on satellite broadband since 2011, when it first introduced the ViaSat-1 satellite—which at launch was recognized as the world’s highest capacity satellite. Since 2011, Viasat has introduced its ViaSat-2 satellite system—which now takes on the title of most advanced, highest-capacity communications satellite in orbit today. The ViaSat-2 satellite offers an expanded footprint, with seven times more coverage than ViaSat-1, and delivers broadband services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, a portion of northern South America as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean bridging North America and Europe. Today, the ViaSat-2 satellite system enables the fastest satellite-internet service—with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
Viasat is leveraging this expertise to bring the ViaSat-3 satellite constellation to market—Each ViaSat-3 satellite is expected to have more than 1,000 Gigabits per second (Gbps)—or 1 Terabit per second (Tbps)—of total network capacity, which is more than three times the total network capacity of ViaSat-2. In addition, the ViaSat-3 capacity will be flexible, which means capacity can be move, or directed, to where internet demand exists.
“In a couple years—with the launch of the ViaSat-3 constellation—we will enter a new phase of digital adoption,” said Kevin Cohen, general manager, Consumer Broadband, LATAM, Viasat. “We will be able to close-in on the digital divide—bringing high-speed internet to communities and markets that have never been connected before. However, we’re not stopping with the ViaSat-3 constellation—we plan to bring additional ultra high-capacity satellites to market to meet the high-growth demand for broadband globally.”
Closing the broadband gap
Today, the Company has five satellites—four that predominantly serve North America and are wholly-owned, and one that sits over Europe, which the Company jointly owns as part of a recent joint venture. Viasat’s satellites offer an economically-sustainable way to bring connectivity to locations outside city centers, rural communities and hard-to-reach areas—either using a direct-to-home (DTH) model where consumers have their own satellite dish on the side of their home, or a new model known as Community Wi-Fi, where a satellite dish is installed on the side of a local store, or community center, and feeds satellite-enabled Wi-Fi service to a remote community.
With the ViaSat-3 constellation, we believe the Community Wi-Fi service can be emulated globally—reaching millions of people in unconnected areas.
“The new generation of Viasat satellites will have a revolutionary impact on people’s lives around the globe. For us, this means we are driving closer to meeting our goal of making everyone and everything connected,” concluded Cohen.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward looking statements include among others, statements about the performance, capabilities and anticipated benefits of the ViaSat-3 class satellite platform, expected capacity, flexibility to direct capacity, service, speeds, coverage, ground infrastructure and other features of the ViaSat-3 constellation, and the cost, economics and other benefits associated therewith, and the timing of hardware delivery and satellite launch. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the ViaSat-3 satellite platform, unexpected expenses or delays related to the satellite system, the ability to successfully implement Viasat’s business plan for broadband satellite services on Viasat’s anticipated timeline or at all, including with respect to the ViaSat-3 satellite platform; and risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of ViaSat-3 and Viasat’s other satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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