Advanced Television

Viasat closer to Version 3.0 launch

June 9, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Viasat of California says the first of its trio of its Version 3.0 satellites has completed testing and payload integration at Viasat’s own facility. Boeing will now take care of the further integration with performance testing.

The satellite, destined to cover the Americas, will launch early next year. Two more V 3.0 will follow. One will cover Europe, the Mid-East and Africa and the third will serve the Asia-Pacific region.

Viasat says that its European/MEA bird will be delivered to Boeing later next year.

“I can’t predict that there won’t be any other COVID impacts,” Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s president and CEO, said on the company’s recent fiscal Q4/2021 earnings call, noting that the second payload (for the EMEA) region is running about six months behind the first payload for the Americas. “It has definitely hit us pretty hard this last year on that payload.”

Viasat has also booked capacity with London-based Avanti to provide Ka-band capacity over Europe and the Middle East on a gap-filler basis for a couple of years pending delivery of the European craft. Viasat also now controls the (older) Eutelsat Ka-Sat craft for primary European coverage pending delivery of Viasat’s new craft.

When all three satellites are in place Viasat expects them to handle a combined – and massive – 3 Tbit/s of capacity, and significantly more than the current fleet’s throughput.

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