On May 24, CEO Mark Dankberg said that Viasat (a satellite operator) is in discussion with several manufacturers to procure a third high-capacity satellite ViaSat. He also noted that designing Viasat-3 has been trickier than designing the earlier two.
ViaSat-3 is going to serve Asia-Pacific region. Dankberg said that while designing this satellite, they faced more difficulties regarding regulatory and geographic coverage challenges than they faced while developing other two ViaSat which are already under construction. Among those two, one will serve North, and South America and other ViaSat-3 EMEA are going to help Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
ViaSat budget is not very high, after the Eutelsat’s surprise decision last month to forgo splitting the cost of the $650 million ViaSat-3 EMEA satellite, but it can be managed to a certain extent, said Dankberg.
It is expected that the third ViaSat-3 satellite is going to be complete Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat’s quest which is for global Ka-band coverage along with the trio of broadband satellites.
Dankberg said that we are negotiating with spacecraft manufacturers and waiting to get a good deal with them for ViaSat-3 Asia Pacific. He said that in the coming next couple of quarters that will be able to announce something.
ViaSat has ordered the first two ViaSat-3 from Boeing in early 2016. However, their full construction started by September. ViaSat is more into the building of the satellites than a typical operator.
Dankberg said the order of Asia-Pacific satellite is two tears behind ViaSat-3 Americans and ViaSat-3 EMEA because they were facing difficulties in designing its coverage footprints.
He told space news that “what we are trying this time is to come up with some different configuration that is capable of giving us the whole earth coverage which will cover our global coverage.
ViaSat has its presence already in Australia with NBN. NBN is facilitating ViaSat to use the Ka-band satellites in-order to offer in-flight Wi-fi to Qantas Airways. NBN said last year that they are looking for adding third satellite to resolve customer’s complaints about network congestion and very slow speed.
On May 24 earning, Dankberg said though ViaSat is talking to prospective partners, our default plan will remain same for ViaSat-3.
He also said that ViaSat had been now “converging on the right direction” which is required for ViaSat-3 Asia Pacific’s final design. Also, we have made a lot of technical improvements which will help in increasing the capacity.
Dankberg had not yet provided with the date for the launch of Viasat-3 Asia Pacific. Although he tells about the launch of earlier to ViaSat-3 satellites. ViaSat-3 America will start its service by the second half of 2020, and after six months of its launch, ViaSat-3 EMEA will start its services.