Update to network infrastructure agreement with YahSat enables Ka-band Yonder service in the Middle East
CARLSBAD, Calif., March 3, 2011 - ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) is building on its success in the global mobile satellite networking business at Ku-band by expanding to Ka-band in key international markets. The Yonder® mobile broadband network service has been ViaSat's fastest growing business over the past two years. The network serves business jets, maritime vessels, and government and defense customers around the world. Based on the ArcLight® spread spectrum networking system, the Yonder service offers much higher speeds, lower airtime pricing and much greater total bandwidth availability than L-band mobile services. The ArcLight system also enables smaller and lower cost terminals than conventional mobile Ku-band VSAT systems.
Last fall, ViaSat and JetBlue reached a landmark accord to deploy the first Ka-band commercial aviation broadband network using ViaSat-1, the world's highest capacity Ka-band satellite. Ka-band extends the benefits of the ArcLight system even further, offering higher transmission speeds and even more attractive airtime pricing.
Concurrently, ViaSat has been working with key Yonder high-speed mobile Internet service customers in the Middle East region to test a Ka-band version of the VR-12, the leading airborne broadband Ku-band satellite antenna. Government customers have also begun using the next generation ArcLight Solo modem, which provides transmit speeds up to 4 Mbps from the 12-inch VR-12 airborne antenna over Ku-band.
Now ViaSat and Star Satellite Communications Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (Yahsat), have restructured their prior services agreement to better capitalize on the mobility opportunity. The new agreement will make Yahsat Y1B Ka-band bandwidth available for subscribers to the ViaSat Yonder global mobile network when the satellite is launched and establishes a partnership to offer mobile broadband services for commercial and business aviation, maritime, and government applications. ViaSat anticipates that the availability of Ka-band satellite mobility in the Middle East will meaningfully accelerate the already fast growth in broadband satellite mobility due to the substantial improvements it enables in bandwidth availability, transmission speeds, and airtime pricing.
Under the revised agreement, the SurfBeam® 2 consumer broadband network infrastructure procurement portion is deleted and a corresponding portion of ViaSat order backlog for the YahSat contract will be adjusted. The backlog adjustment is not expected to have a material impact on earnings or business outlook. Instead, ViaSat will provide Ka-band networking infrastructure in the YahSat Y1B gateway teleports and deliver and manage wholesale and retail mobile broadband services via the new partnership services agreement.
"We believe that broadband mobility will be a leading application for Ka-band bandwidth in the Middle East and welcome Yahsat Y1B as a very valuable portion of our global Yonder network," said Paul Baca, VP and general manager of ViaSat's Global Mobile Broadband business. "We expect this agreement to make the extensive Yahsat network of Ka-band coverage accessible to our rapidly growing network of aviation, maritime, and government Yonder global mobile subscribers in the region. We believe the transmission speeds and airtime pricing afforded by high-capacity Ka satellites will have a transformational effect on global mobile broadband and expect broader availability of Yonder Ka coverage to help stimulate demand for Ka-band mobile user terminals."
"We see the rapid growth of global mobile broadband as an attractive near-term opportunity for Yahsat," said Shawkat Ahmed, chief commercial officer of Yahsat. "This agreement with ViaSat creates the potential for Yahsat to grow its Ka-band network services more quickly by tapping into the Yonder mobile satellite service subscriber base, and to become a key regional element in a rapidly growing FSS mobile broadband network."
About ViaSat (www.viasat.com)
ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to virtually any location. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and owns WildBlue, the premier Ka-band satellite broadband service provider. ViaSat also offers design capabilities and a number of complementary products including monolithic microwave integrated circuits and modules, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, data acceleration and compression, and mobile satellite antenna systems. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.
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Web Site: www.viasat.com