Viasat, a California based satellite operator, is making plans to procure its third Viasat -3 satellite. The CEO of the company, Mark Dankberg released the information on May 24. This satellite forms part of the fleet of high capacity satellites the firm is ordering. Two of these satellites are under construction.
The firm will order the satellite before the end of 2018, and it would serve the Asia-Pacific region. This satellite is a little more complicated with regards to its design. Due to the intended location of the satellite, it is bound to face certain coverage and regulatory challenges.
The two satellites which are already in construction will serve the other regions; the Viasat-3 Americas will serve North and South America while the Viasat-3 EMEA will serve Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
According to the CEO, the firm is running on a tight budget now, but they would still manage to fund the construction of the new satellite. The company came run into budget problems when Eutelsat decided not to split the $650 million cost of the Viasat-3 EMEA satellite any longer.
The addition of the third Viasat-3 satellite would help the firm to attain a global Ka-band coverage. Each satellite has a capacity of up to 1 terabyte. The company is yet to choose a manufacturer for the third satellite called the Viasat-3 Asia Pacific.
The CEO revealed that they are negotiating with satellite manufacturers to get a good deal for the manufacturing of the satellite. Boeing is the manufacturing company in charge of the production of the first two Viasat-3 satellites. Viasat ordered the satellites in 2016, and the company started manufacturing in the same year even though there was a bit of a delay. Boeing is designing the platform of the satellites while Viasat is in charge of the payload.
Viasat also explained that the ordering of the Viasat-3 Asia Pacific delayed because it was challenging to design a coverage footprint. He also said that, unlike the first two satellites which have vibrant markets, the Asia Pacific region does not have one.
Viasat-3 Americas have the United States as its market while Viasat-3 EMEA has Western Europe. However, the potential markets for the Asia Pacific region, China, and India are very easy to penetrate. The countries have stringent regulations for foreign firms, and it makes it difficult for Viasat to operate in the region.
Viasat would announce the manufacturer for the Asia-Pacific satellite in the coming months.