ViaSat’s share price ‘rockets’ on back of successful launch
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ViaSat’s share price ‘rockets’ on back of successful launch

Californian communications company ViaSat is a provider of high speed internet via satellite and secure networking operations – and its share price rose by as much as 5.5% last Friday after it launched its second high bandwidth internet satellite into space. The ViaSat-2, with 300 gigabits per second capacity, rode an Ariane 5 rocket into the stratosphere last Thursday.

The satellite’s first signals back to Earth appeared half an hour after the launch, demonstrating that the operation had gone as planned. It then spent a few days in a low-Earth orbit, testing its functionality, and has begun climbing towards its permanent orbital slot 22,000 miles above the planet.

This satellite will increase both the quality and quantity of internet access ViaSat can provide. The company’s existing satellites are full with around 660,000 subscribers, and they offer speeds starting at 12 megabits per second, with around 10 gigabits per month of data. But ViaSat-2 will vastly increase these capabilities. The company believes it will offer internet connections with speeds of 100 megabits per second “or better”, and offer “large data usage allowances”.

12 megabits per second is still fast enough to stream video on platforms like Netflix or Amazon Video – it is, in fact, the speed that ViaSat offers airline passengers through its in-flight WiFi service on commercial airlines. But there’s no doubt that ViaSat-2 will make the company’s product all that more competitive in the marketplace.

ViaSat’s CEO, Mark Dankberg, said: “We can see a path to getting a big competitive advantage and providing a service that is really valuable. It is pretty rare to be able to find all that combination of stuff and see that it can go for 10 years. It is really exciting.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds ViaSat in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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