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As options increases, the market changes, and Viasat is doing its best to adjust

Broadband service customers now have myriad of options to choose from, thanks to the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. There is also the upcoming and expanding low Earth orbit satellite constellations. Consequently, Viasat is changing its strategy to shape up lest it will ship out.

According to Viasat executive chairman Mark Dankberg, these options don’t necessarily mean that the company will be between a hard surface and a rock in this market.  As he spoke during an earnings call, he said that they only take a one-digit percentage of the market. Therefore, there are low chances of the diversification to have a significant impact on them.

Equally important, the company is planning to change some aspects. The major ones are the current prices and plans. Dankberg agrees that it would be a smart move since the market is changing. However, he believes that it is not that urgent since it might take between three and five years for the changes in the market to be evident. He adds that the company is in a better place than it was in the beginning. After all, they have invested a lot in their Viasat-3 constellation. Consequently, he feels that the three-satellite constellation has more maneuvering room, great for Viasat.

On the other hand, its quarterly shareholder letter also came bearing great news. It shows that in its 2021 third quarter, its Average Revenue per User (ARPU) was at par with its quarterly record as far as the fixed broadband service is concerned. The drivers were the fact that there were new subscribers, and some of the existing ones also upgraded to more expensive plans since they have more data than their previous ones.

Its CEO Rick Baldridge said that its best strategy was raising its ARPU. After all, the strong demand exceeded its limited capacity. However, the move is not final, and people should expect changes as long as they make sense.

Early 2022, America should be expecting services from the first Viasat-3 satellite. It could have happened sooner, but the coronavirus global pandemic couldn’t allow it. It jeopardized labor and supply chain and the Viasat-3 satellite launch consequently delayed. Equally important, the launch could have taken a much longer time. However, the team managed to spend less time than scheduled on some areas and directed the extra time to more demanding tasks.

Reaching the orbit won’t mark the beginning of its services later. Instead, Viasat will carry out tests for months. The second Viasat-3 satellite launch will happen at most six months later. As for the third one, the launch date is unknown.

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