Korean Air activated inflight Wi-Fi on its A321neo fleet this month. The carrier selected Viasat as the provider, diversifying its supplier base.
For the second time this summer Viasat has seen a failure of efforts to grow its global satellite constellation. The I6-F2 satellite, launched in February by Inmarsat, “suffered a power subsystem anomaly during its orbit raising phase” and will not enter service as planned.
Malaysia Airlines’ upcoming fleet of 737 MAX 8 aircraft will offer inflight internet and wireless entertainment on board, powered by Viasat.
Despite the troubles with its first flagship ViaSat-3 satellite, Viasat continues to maintain a positive outlook. Yes, the lack of capacity from the new satellite over the Americas is a problem. But for the next couple years that should only impact its terrestrial connectivity business, not the higher-margin mobility or government business lines.
As Viasat works to mitigate the impact of its ViaSat-3 Americans reflector deployment troubles the company’s integration process with Inmarsat may prove a significant factor.
Viasat’s plans to massively increase capacity and coverage with the ViaSat-3 constellation will have to wait a bit longer. After weeks of speculation and rumors the company confirmed “an unexpected event occurred during reflector deployment that may materially impact the performance of the ViaSat-3 Americas satellite.”
No one is willing to spill the beans completely, but it appears ThinKom has secured an airline launch customer for its Ka1717 regional jet inflight internet solution.
The deal is done: Viasat now owns Inmarsat, completing the multi-billion dollar transaction.
The next generation of Inmarsat satellites will be significantly smaller than today’s GEO hardware. The company announced plans to launch a trio of microGEO satellites, developed by SWISSto12, by 2026 to bolster its L-band network.
Thousands of miles from shore the most reliable communications link typically comes over satellite. That came to an abrupt end over the Pacific this week as one of Inmarsat’s satellites went offline.