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Viasat In-Flight Connectivity for G280 Jet Gets FAA Approval

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Viasat, Inc. VSAT recently announced that its high-speed KA-band in-flight connectivity system for Gulfstream’s super-midsize G280 twinjet has secured a green signal from the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”).

With the FAA’s approval of Supplemental Type Certificate, passengers and flight crews will be able to conduct multi-site video conference calling and access corporate VPN networks, email, video streaming, live TV, and other bandwidth-intensive applications on the aircraft. Post the successful completion of a current in-service evaluation, the high-speed broadband solution — Ka-band — will be available in the first quarter of 2020 as a customer option for G280 fliers.

The Payoffs

Leveraging years of expertise in delivering dual-band antenna systems to the global market, Viasat’s latest in-flight connectivity system utilizes Global Aero Terminal 5510 — a high-end mobile satellite terminal. The terminal is anticipated to be congruent with next-gen satellite constellation — ViaSat-3 — by leveraging ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and European Ka-band satellite platforms. Offering speeds of up to 16 Mbps on its entry-level service plan, Global Aero Terminal 5510 comprises three line-replaceable units, and provides hassle-free installation in the non-pressurized areas of the airframe, significantly optimizing fuel savings.

The ViaSat-3 platform will aid in forming 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. Momentous market traction of ViaSat-1 and ViaSat-2 satellites, and strategically planned ViaSat 3 satellites are expected to provide the company with a solid competitive edge over its peers.

Existing Business Scenario

Viasat holds a major position in the satellite and wireless communications market. Its blue-chip customer base, which comprises the U.S. Department of Defense, civil agencies, allied foreign governments, satellite network integrators as well as large communications service providers and enterprises, adds to its strength.

The company is currently contemplating 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.

Driven by proper execution of operational plans, the stock has recorded an average return of 20.6% compared with the industry’s rise of 19.9% in the year-to-date period.


Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Viasat currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Few better-ranked stocks in the same space are Nokia Corporation NOK, PC-Tel, Inc. PCTI and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Nokia surpassed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 89.3%.

PC-Tel outpaced estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 146.4%.

Verizon exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 2.6%.

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