According to Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg, they are in discussion with some manufacturers for setting the roadmap to manufacture their 3rd high-capacity ViaSat-3 satellite.
The satellite that the company is looking to order will work for the Asia-Pacific area. Mark added that there are more complicated regulatory & geographic coverage problems presented by this type of satellite when compared to the two ViaSat-3 satellites whose construction has already started. First of this two satellite will serve the European, Middle East & some African regions, whereas the other one will serve the North and South American nations.
Dankberg was on an earnings call where he states that the budget of a company is on a tighter side due to the decision of Eutelsat to split the estimated cost of ViaSat-3 EMEA satellite that set US$ 650 million, but still, we can manage it.
The main mission of this satellite will get global Ka-band coverage for the Viasat. The trio of this satellite has a capacity of at least a terabit.
Dankberg further added that they are negotiating with some manufacturing companies for getting a good deal on ViaSat-3 Asia Pacific. The Viasat ordered the first two ViaSat-3 satellites from Boing in the first quarter of 2016, but the original construction started in September that year.
Mark said that the construction of third satellite is already trailing two years behind the ViaSat-3 EMEA and ViaSat-3 Americas due to the complicated coverage footprint. Previously, he gave an interview in March stating that the problems arise in developing the ViaSat’s Asia-Pacific satellite have been the lack of anchor market that isn’t the case with first two satellites.
ViaSat-3 EMEA has the Western Europe market, whereas ViaSat-3 Americas has the United States of America, he added. The two biggest Asian markets India and China offer a great sort of regulatory issues for the foreign operators that prevent them from serving with the full potential.
ViaSat has already made their presence in Australia in a partnership with the government-run NBA. They operate the twin Sky Muster high satellites to offer broadband solutions in the country. ViaSat is allowed to use the Ka-band satellites by NBN for offering in-flight Wi-Fi to Qantas Airways.
There is no exact date announced by the CEO Dankberg for the launch of ViaSat-3 Asia Pacific. However, it is expected to be late 2020.