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Viasat (VSAT) Inches Closer to ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch

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Viasat Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) recently took a significant stride toward the delivery and launch of ViaSat-3 Americas satellite as it completed the Final Integrated Satellite Test (FIST). With this, the company has progressed to the Flight Final phase of integration, where it is undergoing the final build-up to flight configuration for the satellite launch.

Leveraging simulation techniques, FIST validated that ViaSat-3 successfully conformed to the mechanical and thermal vacuum environment by simulating vacuum and extreme hot and cold conditions of space where the satellite will operate during its expected 15-year lifetime. The ViaSat-3 EMEA satellite is currently undergoing integration with spacecraft partner, Boeing, and the third ViaSat-3 satellite for the Asia Pacific region is undergoing final payload integration and testing at Viasat's Tempe, AZ facility.

The ViaSat-3 platform will help form a global broadband network with sufficient network capacity to allow better consumer choices with an affordable, high-quality, high-speed Internet and video streaming service. These Ka-band satellites are likely to provide superior bandwidth connectivity virtually anywhere – whether on land, in the ocean or in the air.

Viasat enjoys a leading position in the satellite and wireless communications market. With the rapid proliferation of the smartphone market and usage of mobile broadband, the user demand for coverage speed and quality has increased, which is fueling the demand for network tuning and optimization to maintain high data traffic. The company attracts millions of U.S. consumers and enterprises with its high-quality broadband service.

Encouragingly, Viasat’s blue-chip customer base, which comprises the U.S. Department of Defense, civil agencies, allied foreign governments, satellite network integrators and large communications service providers and enterprises, adds to its strength. Currently, the company’s Government Systems segment is acting as a major profit churner. Viasat is eyeing opportunities to extend broadband satellite mobility to rotary-wing aircraft, as it is a large addressable market that can emerge as a key profit churner.

Viasat’s Satellite Services business is progressing well, with key metrics including ARPU (average revenue per user) and revenues showing impressive growth. ARPU is growing on the back of a solid retail distribution network, accounting for an increasing proportion of the high-value and high-bandwidth subscriber base. Further, the rising adoption of in-flight Wi-Fi services in commercial aircraft is proving conducive to the growth of the Satellite Services business.

Viasat’s Ka-band solutions enable business jet customers to enjoy high-speed Internet connectivity from takeoff to touchdown. It empowers aviation clients to reinforce their IFC (in-flight connectivity) investments and helps customers stay connected with smooth web browsing and streaming services. Equipped with unrivaled speed and quality, Viasat’s Ka-band service has been specifically designed to meet the accretive demands of data, backed by next-gen business applications. The Ka-band leverages global bandwidth to provide avant-garde Internet service with best-in-market pricing to boost the competitiveness of the business jet market.

The stock has lost 26.3% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 23.9% in the same period.

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Viasat currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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