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Arctic set for high-speed broadband as polar mission completes key milestone

Mission expected to provide high-speed broadband services to air, land and sea users in the Arctic region and in Northern latitudes.


Viasat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global leader in satellite communications, and Space Norway, today announced that the first of the two satellites for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission, has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing. The new satellites, which will carry Viasat’s GX10A and B payloads, aim to connect users in the Far North with high-speed broadband in 2024.

The mission, managed by Space Norway Heosat, will see two satellites deployed in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) above the Earth. Operating in an oval-shaped orbit around the poles, the satellites will speed up when over the South Pole and slow down above the North Pole, tagging each other to deliver persistent coverage of the northernmost region of Earth.

For Viasat, the GX10A and B payloads aboard these two HEO satellites are expected to extend Global Xpress, the company’s global mobile broadband service, which it now operates following the recent acquisition of Inmarsat. The two payloads are designed to seamlessly operate as part of the wider Global Xpress constellation, to expand the current coverage of Global Xpress and further the network - which is currently delivered from satellites in geostationary orbits - into new orbital paths. The satellites will be the new combined company’s first satellites not in geostationary orbit, as it branches out into multi-orbit, cooperative networks to provide seamless global connectivity.

Today, the Arctic Circle represents a rapidly growing connectivity region for governments, shipping companies, commercial airlines, and scientists. In early 2023, the UK Government launched its ‘Looking North’ arctic strategy which details the strategic geopolitical importance of the region for security and climate change. Also, this year Norway began its chairship of the Arctic Council, which is an intergovernmental forum comprised of eight Arctic states to further cooperation in the region. Both HEO satellites will provide a revolutionary upgrade in coverage as communications demand continues to grow.

“Arctic connectivity is urgent because it supports scientific research, enables new trade routes, and underpins strategic government action in a new geopolitical landscape,” said Guru Gowrappan, President, Viasat. “This project is about developing our networks ahead of that need by providing high-quality mobile broadband services for travel in and out of the Arctic. I would like to thank Space Norway for their continued collaboration as we enable meaningful connections for a better, safer, more connected world.”

“For decades, there has been an unmet need for broadband communications in the Arctic, and we are now establishing a strategically important capacity for everyone operating there, be it on the ground, at sea or in the air,” said Dag H. Stølan, CEO, Space Norway. 

“The new system will provide continuous coverage for the Arctic Circle and beyond. Our focus in this mission is the value it creates for civil users such as ships and aircraft, and governmental users such as rescue services and the coastguard, as well as national and allied forces. We appreciate the world class expertise and experience from Viasat joining us in this programme and to bring satellite broadband coverage to in the Arctic.”


About Viasat

Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. With offices in 24 countries around the world, our mission shapes how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate and connect. Viasat is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, reliable, secure, affordable, fast connections to positively impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea, while building a sustainable future in space. On May 30, 2023, Viasat completed its acquisition of Inmarsat, combining the teams, technologies and resources of the two companies to create a new global communications partner. Learn more at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to growing demand for satellite communications in the arctic regions, the timing, coverage and other features of the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission, the future coverage and features of Global Xpress, and Viasat’s expansion into multi-orbit, cooperative networks. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the GX10a and b class satellites and any future satellite we may construct or acquire; our ability to successfully implement our business plan for our broadband services on our anticipated timeline or at all; risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance; our ability to successfully develop, introduce and sell new technologies, changes in the global business environment and economic conditions; reduced demand for products and services as a result of continued constraints on capital spending by customers; changes in relationships with, or the financial condition of, key customers or suppliers; our reliance on a limited number of third parties to manufacture and supply our products; increased competition; introduction of new technologies and other factors affecting the communications industry generally; the effect of adverse regulatory changes (including changes affecting spectrum availability or permitted uses) on our ability to sell or deploy our products and services; changes in the way others use spectrum; our inability to access additional spectrum, use spectrum for additional purposes, and/or operate satellites at additional orbital locations; competing uses of the same spectrum or orbital locations that we utilize or seek to utilize. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in our SEC filings available at, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and 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. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.

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