If everything goes according to plan, 2020 will be the year the ViaSat-3 satellites begin providing broadband communication from space. The satellites’ design will offer “unprecedented” speed and flexibility, according to their maker.
2019 will be a year to get ready.
A lot of the crucial work will be done behind closed doors in Viasat Inc.’s Carlsbad headquarters or in Tempe, Arizona — the place where Viasat integrates its space electronics payload with satellite structures built by Boeing Co.
The first ViaSat-3 launch is expected in 2020.
Viasat’s vision is to launch three satellites under the name ViaSat-3. Collectively they will offer worldwide coverage. The first will be stationed over the Americas. A second is expected to serve the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) while a third is expected to serve the Asia Pacific region.
As of early November, the company was building two ViaSat-3 satellites. Project costs of the two satellites (including launches, insurance and infrastructure on the ground) were estimated to be between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion, according to a securities filing. It remains to be seen if Viasat begins building the third satellite in 2019 and how it will finance its next moves in space.
There will be plenty of other things for Viasat to do in 2019, including expanding its business on the ViaSat-2 satellite launched in June 2017.
Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) said each ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to deliver more than 1 terabit per second of network capacity. Each will be able to dynamically direct capacity to where customers are located.