ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, announced today it received its first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA for its in-cabin distribution system. This is the first of two significant STCs ViaSat expects to obtain with respect to in-flight entertainment and connectivity, with the second STC anticipated in Q1 2016 for its hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna system. This certification squarely positions ViaSat both as a leading service provider and as a prime contractor in the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) market.
The ViaSat in-cabin distribution system bridges the Company's antenna system to the in-flight entertainment system in order to provide full internet connectivity with streaming capabilities to all passenger devices and complete distribution of broadcast TV over satellite to the onboard seatback display. The ViaSat system consists of a Network Access Unit (NAU), wireless access points inside the cabin and cabling to interface between the satellite terminal and the IFEC system. The system, deployed by ViaSat on Virgin America, provides both internet connectivity and broadcast TV across ViaSat's Ka-band and hybrid Ka-/Ku-band terminals. The ViaSat in-cabin distribution system was designed to be universal and interface with different IFE systems.
"Receiving STC approval from the FAA sends a clear message to the industry – ViaSat is both a leading in-flight internet service provider and a world-class prime contractor for in-flight entertainment and connectivity," said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility Business at ViaSat. "We are an entertainment enabler, redefining how passengers experience the in-flight internet by giving them full-blown online entertainment streaming. With our in-flight entertainment service, FAA-approved certifications and enhanced passenger engagement portals, we are best positioned for growth in the multi-billion dollar IFEC market."
Vertically-Integrated Network Support for Enhanced Passenger Engagement
By receiving STC approval, ViaSat can target direct opportunities as a prime IFEC contractor. With today's announcement, the Company now offers a vertically-integrated network support system, inclusive of FAA certifications, passenger-facing internet access portals, an end-to-end in-flight communications system that extends from passengers' personal devices to the world's highest capacity satellite system, as well as flexible vertically-integrated business models that respond to shifts in airline and internet businesses. These offerings are backed by ViaSat's in-flight internet system, which has won more industry awards in the past 12-months than any other comparable system. The ViaSat in-flight internet system is recognized for delivering an at-home internet experience, with the freedom to watch, stream content and shop directly on any connected device when in-flight at speeds that are typically 8 to 10 times faster than any other in-flight Wi-Fi system available on the market today.
Source: ViaSat, Inc.
Date: Sep 28, 2015