ViaSat Signs $53 Million in Contracts to Provide RascomStar-Qaf with New Communication Infrastructure for Africa

ViaSat Signs $53 Million in Contracts to Provide RascomStar-Qaf with New Communication Infrastructure for Africa

CARLSBAD, Calif., Jul 09, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has signed two contracts with RascomStar-Qaf, the pan-African satellite operator, to deliver satellite systems for high-capacity infrastructure communications carrying pan-African telephony and data between regional and national capitals and for rural telecommunications access across the African continent with RascomStar-Qaf VSAT terminals. The combined value of the contracts is approximately $53 million with deliveries scheduled to begin this year and continuing into 2011.

This major addition to the African telecommunications infrastructure is requiring a full turnkey system approach, with ViaSat providing full system responsibility: system engineering, integration, logistic support, installation, training and an initial 12 months of in-region network operation support.

“The construction and deployment of ViaSat R*BCS and R*TES infrastructure will enable RascomStar-Qaf to realize its mission of delivering affordable telecommunications services throughout Africa,” said Faraj Elamari, CEO of RascomStar-Qaf. “These satellite-based systems will reach rural areas of Africa that no other telecommunications infrastructure can support on a cost-effective basis. Our goal is to establish a modern, African telecommunications standard that will rely on resources within Africa.”

Networks for Broadband and Telecommunication Services

The two networks fulfill separate communication requirements for RascomStar-Qaf:

  • The R*BCS (RascomStar-Qaf Broadband Connectivity Services) telephone and IP trunking network is based on ViaSat LinkWay(R)S2 networking terminals and 7.3-meter gateway antenna systems. Gateways are scheduled for installation between late 2009 and mid - 2010.
  • The R*TES (RascomStar-Qaf Telecommunication Services) network is designed to provide low density telephony and optional Internet access. The very low-powered R*TES will be designed to combine multiple low rate telephone circuits while minimizing power consumption, making them ideal for solar operation. High-speed Internet connection is an optional feature. The ViaSat network design includes multi-transponder operation that enables seamless connections no matter the location of the rural terminal within the African continent.

“We’re honored to have been selected by RascomStar-Qaf and it is very exciting to see this new generation of communications coming to Africa,” said Harry Stribos, ViaSat regional manager for Africa. “We think ViaSat has built a strong capability in becoming a company that understands the network application first, and then can make it work by bringing together all the pieces into a turn-key system.”

Beyond the first phases of the RascomStar-Qaf program covered by these contracts, the full build-out is envisaged to entail the deployment of as many as 100 gateways and over 100,000 terminals. African telecom operators subscribing to satellite added-value services using the R*BCS and R*TES infrastructure will also have access to operations and business support systems that enable them to manage their local customer accounts.

About RascomStar-Qaf

RascomStar-Qaf is an African company based in Mauritius, which operates under a concession from Regional African Satellite Communications Organization (RASCOM), an intergovernmental treaty organization representing the interests of 45 African telecommunications operators. The company’s shareholders are RASCOM, Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAIP), and Thales Alenia Space. RascomStar-Qaf’s prime objective is to provide satellite capacity and telecommunication services for national and international public communications service providers across the continent of Africa. RascomStar-Qaf launched its first satellite RASCOM-QAF1 on Ariane V in December 2007. This high performance satellite provides pan-African coverage with multiple Ku- and C-band spot beam transponders until its transition to equivalent service on the RASCOM -QAF1R satellite to be launched in mid-2010.

About ViaSat

ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to any location. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. government; and is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services. ViaSat also offers design capabilities and a number of complementary products including monolithic microwave integrated circuits and modules, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, data acceleration and compression, and mobile satellite antenna systems. ViaSat is based in Carlsbad, CA, has major locations in Duluth, GA, and Germantown, MD (Comsat Laboratories division), and has additional field offices and service centers worldwide.

Forward-Looking Statements

Portions of this release, particularly statements about future gateway and terminal quantities, delivery and installation schedules, the future build out of the RascomStar-Qaf network, and the performance and deliveries of ViaSat products and technology, may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; and increased competition and other factors affecting the telecommunications industry generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in ViaSat’s SEC filings available at, including without limitation, ViaSat’s annual reports on Form 10-K and ViaSat’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. ViaSat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.

LinkWay is a registered trademark of ViaSat Inc.

Comsat Labs and Comsat Laboratories are tradenames of ViaSat, Inc. Neither Comsat Labs nor Comsat Laboratories is affiliated with COMSAT Corporation. “Comsat” is a registered trademark of COMSAT Corporation. All additional products are trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: ViaSat Inc.

Brainerd Communicators
Joe LoBello / Scott Cianciulli

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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