Satellite owner Viasat has entered the offshore and maritime communications markets through its acquisition of RigNet
The California, US-headquartered owner of ViaSat 1 and 2 satellites gained support from all of RigNet’s stockholders for the acquisition on 21 April and the transaction was completed on 30 April.
“RigNet will bring extensive sector expertise, an established customer base and a global communications delivery infrastructure,” said Viasat president and chief executive Rick Baldridge. This will “help further accelerate Viasat’s ability to provide high-quality, ubiquitous, affordable broadband connectivity and communications to the hardest-to-reach locations around the globe”, he added.
Viasat will begin integrating RigNet into its company processes and use its technology to provide faster broadband to owners of offshore vessels, rigs, maritime and passenger shipping in various bands of radio frequency.
“Together, we believe we can further expand Viasat’s portfolio diversification strategy and solve customers’ toughest communications challenges,” said Mr Baldridge.
The RigNet team will join Viasat’s global enterprise and mobility business, led by business president Jimmy Dodd.
Houston, US-based RigNet provides global, end-to-end, secure managed communications services and installations. It operates in offshore energy, transportation, maritime, renewable energy, mining and other enterprise markets.
Viasat is a global communications company planning to expand its capabilities through the launch of three ViaSat 3 satellites to provide global Ka-band connectivity. It is working with Cobham Satcom to develop mobile terminals for its new constellation, which comes into operation from 2022. Viasat said the ViaSat-3 satellite constellation will provide nearly eight-times more connectivity capacity than its current fleet.
Also on 30 April, Viasat completed its purchase of wholesale broadband service provider Euro Broadband Infrastructure, a joint venture it previously had with Eutelsat. Through this transaction, Viasat now owns 100% of the Ka-Sat satellite and ground infrastructure used to provide Ka-band communications to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This is in preparation of ViaSat 3’s launch and enables Viasat to build a distributor base.
“This deal provides a foundation for growth and an investment in the European region in addition to Africa and the Middle East,” said Mr Baldridge. “We can now set in motion our multi-tiered partner and distribution strategy, while trialling new ViaSat-3-like mobility offerings.”
Satellite communications and connectivity in maritime and offshore will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s series of virtual webinars, forums, conferences and technology days in 2021 - use this link for more details and to register on the events page