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ViaSat-3 sets launch date; robust Q3

February 8, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Viasat says its first ‘next-generation’ ViaSat-3 satellite will launch on around April 8th on a SpaceX rocket.

Chairman Mark Dankberg told shareholders: “The ViaSat-3 system is intended to enable a substantial leap in space and ground technology – designed to deliver far more bandwidth per unit of capital, over very large coverage areas, with dynamic control over when and where that bandwidth is delivered. And, by building three satellites concurrently we can extend these capabilities and economic advantages to global mobility markets, not just regionally. We are confident our success in the North American IFC market can be extended globally, and that our initial forays into Australia, Brazil, Europe and, more recently, China are indicative of that.”

Viasat also revealed its Q3 number at the same time.

Dankberg reported that Viasat’s important in-flight communications (IFC) and broadband division was doing well, commenting: “Our IFC business is seeing very robust growth – not only in aircraft in service, follow-on orders from existing customers, and wins with new airlines – but also in engagement among passengers as airlines leverage our performance and scale, especially in North America. Other nascent mobility markets (e.g. business aviation and maritime) are seeing attractive growth on relatively small bases enabled by current satellites.”

Revenue for Q3 FY 2023 was slightly down YoY to $714 million while revenue from continuing operations increased 4 per cent YoY to $651 million. Commercial Networks revenue increased 20 per cent YoY and 35 per cent sequentially driven primarily by increased commercial air IFC terminal shipment.

Viasat brought 160 aircraft into its served fleet and won a contract extension from Delta Airlines. It now serves 2,110 aircraft, up 17 per cent YoY.

Following on from the ViaSat-3/Americas craft in April the company will follow on with the launch of ViaSat-3/EMEA. The ViaSat-3 EMEA satellite is undergoing spacecraft integration at Boeing and the ViaSat-3/APAC satellite is nearing completion of final payload integration and testing at the company’s Tempe, Arizona facility.

“Fiscal year 2024 will be an exciting year for us as we begin to deploy and scale our ViaSat-3 constellation, including the first two satellite launches,” said Dankberg.

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