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Wednesday, Oct 5, 2022

Bandwidth Bonanza Big Part of ViaSat-3 Satellite Plan

Lots of Carlsbad news here, leading off with ViaSat Inc. offering some color on its ViaSat-3 satellite plan.

ViaSat-3 — actually a constellation of three satellites — will offer affordable, high-speed Internet and video streaming to customers all around the globe.

The first two satellites of ViaSat-3 are going together at Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and will serve the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) said it expects to complete integration and delivery in 2019, and see them launched in mid-2019 and early 2020. A third satellite is planned for the Asia Pacific region.

ViaSat is going for fast-growing markets in South America, Africa, the Middle East and western Asia, CEO Mark Dankberg said during an investor conference call.

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“Each ViaSat-3 satellite is anticipated to have as much bandwidth as all the rest of the satellites in the world combined,” Dankberg added, “and that includes all of the high-throughput satellites that are now under construction.”

Actually, ViaSat has yet to put ViaSat-2 in orbit, and changed its launch partner to get that satellite up more quickly. The company said it will contract with Arianespace to launch ViaSat-2 in the first quarter of 2017, with service expected midyear. Arianespace will also launch one of the ViaSat-3 satellites while SpaceX will launch another ViaSat-3 satellite using its Falcon Heavy booster.

Separately, ViaSat announced a joint venture to deliver consumer broadband service in Europe with Paris-based Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL). ViaSat is acquiring 49 percent of Eutelsat’s wholesale business for 132.5 million Euros, or about $150 million at current exchange rates.

ViaSat announced third-quarter earnings Feb. 9. Net income was $9.7 million on revenue of $347.8 million in the quarter ending Dec. 31. In the same quarter one year ago, ViaSat reported net income of $14.8 million on revenues of $339.6 million.

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Wireless Cluster Grows: Taoglas USA Inc. has quadrupled its San Diego space to 16,000 square feet. The tech company, which has a special interest in antennas, bills its Miramar area facility as North America’s first antenna and RF design center for machine-to-machine and Internet of Things devices.

Ireland-based Taoglas spent $2 million to expand and equip its local office, said Dermot O’Shea, who owns the company with Ronan Quinlan.

Taoglas has 37 people in San Diego. The business expects to increase that number by 50 percent this year, and double that number over the next three years. Taoglas has 135 employees worldwide.

The business might have expanded its U.S. facility in Minneapolis, but chose San Diego for its IoTx Center. Aside from the climate, San Diego’s appeal includes its talent pool. The kind of engineers Taoglas seeks are “actually quite rare” but easier to find in San Diego, O’Shea said.

A ceremony opening the expanded building on Jan. 22 attracted Philip Grant, consul general of Ireland to the western United States.

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MaxLinear Bulks Up: Carlsbad chip maker MaxLinear Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $8.5 million on net revenue of $98.9 million. The figures included three months of operations from Entropic Communications, a company that MaxLinear (NYSE: MXL) bought. In the same quarter one year ago, MaxLinear reported a net loss of $2.4 million on net revenue of $32.5 million.

For the year, MaxLinear had a net loss of $42.3 million on net revenue of $300.4 million — again, reflecting the purchase of Entropic. One year ago it had a net loss of $7.04 million on net revenue of $133.1 million. The markets saw something to like, sending MXL shares up almost 8 percent to close at $14.72 on the day after the firm reported results.

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Short Takes: MEPS Real-Time Inc. said that it is adding 5,000 square feet to its Carlsbad office and warehouse, increasing its floor space by 40 percent. The company makes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for pharmacy inventory management, and currently has about 200 hospital clients. The business is also adding staff. Most of its 65 employees are in Carlsbad. … Pixelmage Games LLC, a game studio started in October by longtime Sony

Online Entertainment chief John Smedley, started and then canceled a Kickstarter campaign to create a multiplayer online role-playing game called “Hero’s Song.” Smedley and his old organization have since gone separate ways. Sony Online Entertainment changed its name to Daybreak Game Co. LLC after becoming part of Columbus Nova, part of Russia-based Renova Group. … The MJD Interactive Agency is again doing work on a mobile app for the Grammy Awards. Late last year MJD unveiled a new website — and a new look — for client Qualcomm Ventures.

Send San Diego technology news to bradg@sdbj.com.


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