WildBlue Selects ViaSat to Build Satellite Modems
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Denver, CO and Carlsbad, CA - WildBlue Communications, Inc. (www.wildblue.com) announced today that it has selected ViaSat, Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) to build the company's satellite modems. The initial portion of this contract is valued at approximately $16 million and covers development and production of satellite modems to support initial service launch.
WildBlue plans to roll out affordable two-way broadband services via satellite direct to homes and small offices throughout the contiguous United States in early 2002 and subsequently expand service to Canada and Latin America. WildBlue plans to be the first to launch the next generation Ka-band spot beam satellite technology that is designed to lower the cost of providing high speed Internet access via satellite. This service is expected to be especially appealing to the millions of homes that will not have access to DSL or cable modem service. WildBlue's strategic investors include EchoStar (www.echostar.com), Liberty Media Group (www.libertymedia.com), TV Guide (www.tvguide.com), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (www.kpcb.com), Space Systems/Loral (www.ssloral.com), Arianespace (www.arianespace.com), TRW (www.trw.com) and TeleSat (www.telesat.ca).
ViaSat is at the forefront of the broadband Ka-band satellite ground systems market, including providing enterprise terminals and gateway systems for next generation, processed payload Ka-band networks. As a supplier of technology for broadband IP networking over satellite, ViaSat VSAT networks are operating on every continent except Antarctica.
WildBlue's satellite modem is expected to serve the same purpose as a dial-up modem, DSL modem or a cable modem. It will convert the analog data transmissions into Internet Protocol (IP) data packets, which can be read by the users� PC or any digital Internet appliance. The agreement with ViaSat allows WildBlue to leverage standard components from the cable modem and satellite TV industries to lower the cost of satellite modems while being designed to provide excellent performance over the Ka-band satellite link. This cost-savings is intended to enable lower pricing to the consumer.
"WildBlue's mission is to provide affordable broadband Internet access virtually anywhere," said WildBlue president and CEO Thomas Moore. "We have a laser focus on minimizing cost, from the cost-effective design of our satellite modems to the high capacity and low cost of our next generation Ka-band spot beam satellite. We are especially pleased to be working with ViaSat, a recognized industry leader in IP networking over satellite and the technologies for efficient use of satellite capacity."
"ViaSat is excited for this opportunity to work with a leader in the development of next generation satellite broadband," said Steve Cable, vice president, ViaSat Broadband Systems. "We are also working with WildBlue to define the gateway terminal equipment that is designed to ensure a seamless user experience. Once WildBlue brings affordably priced broadband to areas without cable modem or DSL service, we anticipate strong demand for our satellite modems, which helps fulfill ViaSat's commitment to be a leader in the ground segment and user terminal technology in the growing satellite broadband industry."
ViaSat produces advanced digital satellite telecommunications and wireless signal processing equipment for commercial and government markets. ViaSat has a full line of VSAT products for data and voice applications. ViaSat is a market leader in Ka-band satellite systems, from user terminals to large gateways for both geosynchronous and low earth orbit systems. Other products include information security devices, tactical communication radios, and communication simulators. ViaSat is located in Carlsbad, CA, and Norcross, GA, with additional field offices in Boston, MA, the United Kingdom, Australia, Chile, China, and India. For more information, see www.viasat.com.
WildBlue plans to roll out affordable broadband services via satellite direct to homes and small offices throughout the contiguous U.S. The company plans to subsequently expand service to Canada and Latin America. WildBlue was founded to accelerate consumer broadband access to the Internet. WildBlue's solution intends to deliver on consumer desires for a fast, affordable, simple, reliable, always-on and two-way technology for wireless Internet access. For more information, see www.wildblue.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which reflect ViaSat's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from these statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully develop and deliver technology and products, the ability of WildBlue to successfully launch its service, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the communication markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers and the other risks described from time to time in reports that ViaSat files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take these risks into account when making investment decisions. Stockholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. ViaSat undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.