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.
The ViaSat-3 anomaly has our attention, but it doesn’t define us, just given how diverse our businesses now and with Inmarsat we are even more diverse and stronger.– Guru Gowrappan, Viasat President
As part of the prepared comments in reporting the company’s earnings on 9 August, CEO Mark Dankberg noted “The main thing we’ve been doing to handle our backlog so far is transferring business, transferring bandwidth from the fixed applications to be to the mobility business. So we have that going forward.” Expanding on that idea in a follow-up conversation, President K. Guru Gowrappan reiterated the idea that there is plenty of capacity for at least the next couple years, “In the near term, between what we have [with Inmarsat and Viasat resources] and what we can bring from fixed broadband, we feel pretty good with that.”
The company also discussed leasing additional orbital capacity from third party providers. Gowrappan considers that “more of a backup plan,” however, rather than the top priority. “That’s always the most economical and we do have the assets.”
Key to delivering on that, however, will be sorting out the necessary interoperability updates to the various components within the satellite network to combine the Viasat and Inmarsat orbital resources.
There’s more to the story… Dig deeper with a PaxEx.Aero Premium Subscription
New installs continue
Even with the failure, airlines continue to sign on for Viasat’s services. And existing customers continue to install terminals to get online. Hundreds more are expected each quarter, including many in geographies where the ViaSat-3 failure will not affect performance. Gowrappan also noted that a significant portion of the 1,600 aircraft backlog comes from Inmarsat’s operations, not Viasat’s. Those plans are not affected at all by the satellite failure nor the interoperability needs.
Indeed the company says it has signed contracts with new airlines and also extended partnerships with existing customers since announcing the anomaly.
“I won’t say the exact number,” Gowrappan noted, “but we maintain the same momentum in the quarter of signing up new customers’ planes or and adding more aircraft in the existing customer backlog.”
A favor to ask while you're here...
Did you enjoy the content? Or learn something useful? Or generally just think this is the type of story you'd like to see more of? Consider supporting the site through a donation (any amount helps). It helps keep me independent and avoiding the credit card schlock.