USD7.3B Satellite Deal To Transform Connectivity

Image credit: iStockphoto/johan63

Broadband connectivity has taken a further leap into space with the USD7.3 billion deal for U.S. firm Viasat to acquire U.K. rival Immarsat.

In a deal the two companies have described as “transformative,” the firms will combine their assets and expertise to boost global connectivity from the space satellites maintained by Immarsat to the home broadband delivered by Viasat.

Viasat said the deal was a move to creating a major space-based broadband provider to compete against Elon Musk’s Starlink constellation, the U.K. Government baked OneWeb, and Boeing, which has announced plans for satellites to provide internet services from space.

Viasat executive chair Mark Dankberg said the fusion of the two companies “provides the ingredients and scale needed for profitable growth through the creation and delivery of innovative broadband and IoT services in new and existing fast-growing segments and geographies.”

“Immarsat’s dual-band global mobile network, unique L-band resources, skills and capabilities in the U.K., and excellent technical and operational talent worldwide, are powerful complements to Viasat’s business,” Dankberg said.

Immarsat has recently invested in its coverage, claiming to have the world’s first network called “Orchestra” that combines geosynchronous (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites with terrestrial 5G infrastructure into a single network, blending coverage and capacity back in June 2021.

Viasat says there are no plans to move Immarsat and its 860 employees from their London base. The company can also play a key role in supporting the U.K.’s recently published National Space Strategy.

Immarsat currently has a fleet of 14 satellites that deliver broadband and internet connectivity and in-flight Wi-Fi.

There are plans to launch another seven satellites.

Image credit: iStockphoto/johan63