Viasat Marks One-Year Anniversary of Exede In The Air, the Fastest In-Flight Wi-Fi Service
Carlsbad, Calif. – In just 12 months, Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) has proven that its Exede® In The Air in-flight internet for commercial airlines has transformed the in-flight Wi-Fi experience, far exceeding previous performance standards, driving the highest passenger take rates in the industry, and beginning to showcase how new economic models can make in-flight Wi-Fi attractive not only for passengers, but for the airlines themselves.
Together with Thales, Viasat launched Exede In The Air on December 12, 2013 on JetBlue. Since then, the service has achieved some major milestones in a still-young in-flight Wi-Fi market traditionally dominated by slow service and high costs to passengers:
- Over four times the average number of passengers using the service on each flight compared to the nearest competitor, with take rates on flights more than three hours approaching 40%.
- Over 2.5 million personal electronic devices connected in our first year.
- Data use per passenger doubling since the first flights, showing that once people experience how good the service is, they find ways to use more and more data.
- Twenty percent of all data consumed is for streaming applications, a number that is increasing each month.
These achievements have shown for the first time that a home or office-like Wi-Fi experience in flight is not only possible, but will ultimately be ubiquitous for airline passengers. When that day comes is a function of balancing great service with the right economics, says Don Buchman, Viasat VP of Exede Mobility. “Airlines want to delight their customers, and the customers themselves don’t want to pay extra fees, especially for sub-par service. Nearly every airline today is evaluating the right approach to deliver services like Exede in the Air in a way that preserves their bottom lines. The good news is that these economic models are now beginning to emerge.”
“In conjunction with Thales and Viasat, we concluded that the onboard Wi-Fi experience the other guys were offering was unsatisfactory, so we decided to do something revolutionary – provide our passengers with a fantastic high speed onboard Wi-Fi offering at no charge,” said Jamie Perry, director, product development at JetBlue. “We believe that Fly-Fi, powered by Exede Internet, is an important component of our passengers’ positive experience and loyalty to us. The increased take rates we’re seeing allow us to pursue a very different monetization strategy, with Verizon, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal signing on as sponsors and helping us to keep the basic Fly-Fi service free.”
“We’re the only true broadband offering in the sky that begins to approximate what consumers expect at home or in the office,” said Buchman. “And beyond their stated desire to have quality Wi-Fi on their flights, we believe passengers also want the freedom to experience the internet however they choose, just like they do on the ground. While other services today parcel out their scarce bandwidth through techniques like charging high fees to discourage use, blocking some applications, or allowing access only to limited “walled garden” content, Exede in the Air has shown what’s possible when you deliver meaningful amounts of bandwidth to passengers, and we have more coming as we deliver our next class of satellites.”
The major differentiator is the more favorable economics of the Viasat network, which enables a high-speed service that doesn’t degrade when more passengers log on. With other systems, every new passenger who tries to connect adds strain to the system and slows service for everyone. In addition to its advantages in the air, Viasat’s satellite-based system can also operate on the ground, enabling airlines to take advantage of gate-to-gate Wi-Fi connections.
The network is providing service on over 250 aircraft operated by JetBlue and United Airlines with both carriers continuing to roll out additional aircraft throughout 2015. The service is also coming to EL AL Airlines, with the first certification flights planned for mid-2015.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward looking statements include statements about the anticipated benefits of the Viasat-2 satellite, expected capacity, service, speeds, coverage and other features of Viasat-2, and the timing, cost, economics and other benefits associated therewith. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Viasat-2 satellite, unexpected expenses or delays related to the satellite system, the ability to successfully implement Viasat’s business plan for broadband satellite services on Viasat’s anticipated timeline or at all, including with respect to the Viasat-2 satellite system; risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of Viasat-2 and Viasat’s other satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance; negative audits by the U.S. government; continued turmoil in the global business environment and economic conditions; delays in approving U.S. government budgets and cuts in government defense expenditures; Viasat’s reliance on U.S. government contracts, and on a small number of contracts which account for a significant percentage of Viasat’s revenues; the ability to successfully develop, introduce and sell new technologies, products and services; reduced demand for products as a result of continued constraints on capital spending by customers; changes in relationships with, or the financial condition of, key customers or suppliers; reliance on a limited number of third parties to manufacture and supply Viasat’s products; increased competition and other factors affecting the communications and defense industries generally; the effect of adverse regulatory changes on Viasat’s ability to sell products and services; Viasat’s level of indebtedness and ability to comply with applicable debt covenants; Viasat’s involvement in litigation, including intellectual property claims and litigation to protect proprietary technology; and Viasat’s dependence on a limited number of key employees. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
Exede is a registered trademark of Viasat Inc.