Launch of Improved In-flight Internet Service Draws Closer with FCC License Grant to ViaSat
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First Ka-band license for air mobility in U.S. another step toward high-speed Internet for airline passengers
Carlsbad, Calif. – The FCC has granted a Blanket License Radio Station Authorization for Ka-band aeronautical earth stations to ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT), providing regulatory approval for airborne Ka-band services over all 50 U.S. states. The 15-year, renewable license permits operation of the ViaSat Mantarray, low-profile airborne antenna on the ViaSat Ka-band satellite fleet of ViaSat-1, WildBlue-1, and Anik-F2.
ViaSat Exede® In The Air is designed to improve in-flight broadband service by providing enough bandwidth for every passenger on the plane to enjoy high-speed Internet. The FCC approval is another step toward the launch of that service, expected this fall, on the U.S. fleets of JetBlue Airways and one other major airline. Approximately 400 aircraft are already under contract to receive the service.
“This is the first license of its kind in the world,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. “We’re gratified to see the FCC recognizing that the advanced technical design of this equipment is compatible with the operating environment in which our other Exede services successfully operate. Now airlines, and their passengers, will have access to an unprecedented amount of bandwidth. We want to let everyone on board be connected at high speed.”
ViaSat also initiated work with the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) two years ago that led to a related Electronic Communication Committee decision in March, allowing mobile earth station operation – including in the Ka-band – in participating countries in Europe.
Powered by ViaSat-1 – the World’s Highest Capacity Communications Satellite with a Guinness World Records title – Exede service is poised to re-shape communication services in a number of industries.
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 expected summer launch of Exede in the Air service and re-shaping communication services in other industries. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: the ability to successfully implement ViaSat’s business plan for broadband satellite services on ViaSat’s anticipated timeline or at all; risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of ViaSat’s 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 and Yonder are registered trademarks of ViaSat Inc.