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Viasat (VSAT) Inches Ahead to Power Arctic Broadband Services

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Viasat, Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) recently announced the successful completion of thermal vacuum testing of the first of two satellites for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission. The company joined forces with Space Norway Heosat, a strategic space infrastructure developer, to conduct the mission and accelerate the establishment of a reliable communication system in the Arctic area.

The Arctic region is witnessing rising commercial activity from shipping enterprises, airlines, government agencies and scientists. The surge of interest is mainly stemming from a combination of economic, geopolitical, environmental and social factors. The shrinking ice is opening up new trade routes that offer faster and cost-efficient options for maritime trade between Asia, Europe and North America. The geopolitical significance of the area cannot be overlooked, as governments actively seek ways to assert their influence and protect their strategic interests in the region.

The Arctic Circle is believed to possess a vast pool of unexploited natural resources and it is also bearing the brunt of climate change. Hence, there is growing interest from scientists to expedite research efforts on various subjects in the area, including environmental sustainability and more.

Viasat, in collaboration with Space Norway, is undertaking positive initiatives to address this rapidly increasing connectivity demand in the Arctic region. The new satellites, which will carry Viasat’s GX10A and B payloads, will be deployed in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) above Earth. The goal is to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to users in the far north by 2024.

HEO satellites will seamlessly integrate with the Global Xpress constellation and enhance its coverage and capability to provide high-quality mobile broadband services. The satellite will operate in an oval-shaped orbit around the poles. They will accelerate when passing over the South Pole and decelerate when operating over the North Pole. Through these synchronized movements, the satellites will deliver optimum coverage in the northernmost part of the Earth.

The provision of uninterrupted satellite broadband communications will promote cooperation among arctic states and various organizations. It will also enhance maritime governance and resource management while unlocking numerous opportunities to develop a sustainable and mutually beneficial ecosystem in the region.

Viasat is making steady progress on the payload module for the second ViaSat-3 (EMEA) satellite in its own facilities. The company has confirmed the successful launch of its ViaSat-3 Americas satellite on May 1, 2023. ViaSat-3 class of Ka-band satellites are expected to provide enhanced bandwidth with greater flexibility.

The ViaSat-3 constellation will offer high-speed and high-capacity connectivity to expand coverage and help bridge the digital divide in areas with limited Internet access. Momentous market traction of ViaSat-1 and ViaSat-2 satellites, coupled with strategically planned ViaSat-3 satellites, are likely to provide the company with a solid competitive edge over its peers, thereby bolstering growth in the long run.

The stock has gained 47.7% over the past year against the industry's fall of 2.6%.

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Viasat currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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It is a global provider of content delivery networks and cloud infrastructure services. The company’s solutions accelerate and improve the delivery of content over the Internet, enabling faster response to requests for web pages, streaming of video & audio, business applications, etc. Its offerings are intended to reduce the impact of traffic congestion, bandwidth constraints and capacity limitations on customers.

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Juniper is a leading provider of networking solutions and communication devices. The company develops, designs and sells products that help build a network infrastructure for services and applications based on a single Internet protocol network worldwide. It caters to the networking needs of enterprises, public sector organizations and service providers across the globe.

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