2021: Another big growth year for Viasat

As we head into the New Year, we’re looking back on some of our top stories of 2021. In this post, we focus on stories about the company’s growth and expansion.


Viasat enters into agreement to aquire Inmarsat

Rick Baldridge, President & CEO of Viasat, Inc., on the opportunities ahead

Viasat and Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced in November that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Viasat will acquire Inmarsat.

“This move brings together two talented teams that have built advanced and highly complementary assets — and creates a new leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely, and reliably connect the world,” said Rick Baldridge, President & CEO, Viasat, Inc.

He also noted that the benefits are far reaching.

“This deal gives us the scale to invest even more effectively in R&D and network infrastructure and opportunities to further increase the pace of innovation that drives new and better services for our customers, broadens the opportunities for our employees, and is good for investors as well.”

Baldridge gave four reasons that this is an exciting prospect for Viasat:

  1. Enhanced growth and innovation opportunities
  2. Ability to offer new and better services to our customers, sooner
  3. Our increased financial strength supports innovation, investors, customers, and our combined workforce
  4. Build on the heritage of cooperation that both companies have established

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ghana antennas
The Real-Time Earth antenna installation in Ghana, seen here during construction and with the finished facility in place

Viasat Real-Time Earth antenna network expands to Ghana

New location boosts RTE coverage and supports Africa’s growing space industry

When Viasat launched its newest Real-Time Earth (RTE) facility in Ghana, Africa in October, it was a day of celebration for both Viasat and its partner, the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI).

For Viasat, it adds another link to the company’s expanding RTE network. And the company is bringing jobs and economic growth to the region, while further differentiating Viasat’s service for high-speed RTE connectivity of payload data across a secure network. Ghana has historically been a gap for almost every ground-service provider.

For the GSSTI, which hosts the RTE antenna, the partnership helps move Ghana closer to its goal of becoming a leader in Africa’s fast-growing space industry.

Viasat contracts with GSSTI, Ghana’s national space agency, to host the antenna on site and provide preventive maintenance and 24/7 on-site emergency support. This includes a team of Viasat-trained engineers charged with maintaining the RTE installation.

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Viasat earns top satellite spot on CNET’s 2021 ‘Best Rural ISP’ list

U.S. Residential service tagged as the satellite internet provider with best speeds and data plans

CNET named Viasat the “best satellite provider” on its 2021 list of best rural internet providers. It praised Viasat for plans that come “with more data and, in some locations, more speed, than competing satellite internet companies.” CNET also noted Viasat offers more affordable Wi-Fi equipment rental costs, making it “one of the more affordable wireless internet providers.”

According to CNN, more than a quarter of rural U.S. households still lack access to high-speed internet — an absence keenly felt during the pandemic while adults and children worked and studied from home.

While some of these pandemic behaviors are expected to shift back to pre-virus levels, economists predict other time- and hassle-saving nesting behaviors — like telehealth and online grocery shopping – are here to stay.

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Viasat UK’s new operations centres boost sovereignty and prosperity agenda

Expected £300m UK investment supports mission-critical outcomes to MoD, governments and private sector

In March, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its Defence Command Paper, outlining how the organization plans to spend £188bn on the armed forces over the next four years.

Illustrating the MoD’s appetite to become a world leader in space and cyberspace, the paper described how the UK intends to counter a range of “disruptive” state and non-state threats that possessaccess to cyberspace capabilities and other advanced weapons.

Within a week of the paper being published, Viasat UK officially opened its state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) in Aldershot, UK, designed to support the MoD against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks from a growing number of adversaries. It further underpins the UK’s broadband agenda, where commercial and home SATCOM are becoming increasingly viable and important for future communications.

The facility — which will create new roles for more than 75 highly-skilled network, analysis and cyber security operators — forms part of an expected £300m investment into the UK by Viasat in support of the launch and services of the ViaSat-3 global satellite constellation coming online in the coming years.

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With RigNet acquisition, Viasat expanding service to new industries

RigNet offers inroads into energy, shipping, mining, and government sectors

In April, Viasat finalized its acquisition of RigNet, Inc., a different type of company from Viasat with the goal to help jump-start our service offerings in some entirely new industries.

Headquartered in Houston with operations that span the globe, RigNet is a managed communications services provider and advanced machine learning company that operates across a variety of industries: energy, maritime, government and mining, among others. RigNet services customers with a host of sophisticated telecommunications and networking solutions, such as machine learning analytics, cybersecurity, and real-time monitoring apps.

Its core service, and the impetus for the company’s 1979 founding, is providing communications – today’s connectivity – to hard-to-reach sites. Beyond those core services, RigNet has expanded over the years to offer a full suite of complementary products. Those includes apps, cybersecurity and a sophisticated real-time operational technology called Intelie Live.

RigNet not only brings its services to existing sites, it integrates and deploys communications systems into capital construction projects.

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