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YIR: ViaSat
by Mark Dankberg, Chairman and CEO

2008: We are proud of our record of sustained growth. Our record revenues, earnings, and bookings during the past year reflect solid competitive positions in key areas – both commercial and government. We believe it’s indicative of a potential for comparable growth for our next five years and beyond.

Our government businesses in tactical data links, information assurance, and satellite communications continue to show strong earnings, with revenue growth, gains in market share, and attractive prospects for the future.

Demand for satellite Ka-band broadband service was far stronger than expected – with both WildBlue Communications and Telesat Canada selling out their available capacity in large portions of the U.S. and Canada. We scaled the business quickly, more than doubling shipments over prior years.

Finally, we invested significantly in new areas, including our recently acquired AcceleNet® WAN acceleration product, which is gaining market awareness and earned some very exciting OEM distribution agreements.

Fundamentally, ViaSat competes by applying advanced new technologies that are more cost effective than those used by competitors. Some examples from 2008:
  • Growing consumer satellite broadband uptake in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Bulgaria through our relationship with Eutelsat by supplying our SurfBeam broadband system for the Eutelsat Tooway Ka-band broadband service
  • Surpassing 100,000 hours of flight time for our ArcLight mobile broadband system aboard business aircraft and completing a new distribution agreement with KVH Industries for maritime applications on the network
  • Completion of our next generation PSIAM programmable cryptosystem, enables us to pursue smaller, lower power, higher volume information assurance applications
  • Demonstrated a new Blue Force Tracking messaging terminals, both for vehicles and helicopters, that costs the same but showed throughput rates 45 times faster than the current BFT system
  • More than 4,500 LinkWay® enterprise satellite modems deployed in military teleports and Joint Force installations making it the most widely used broadband military modem
  • Our Enerdyne subsidiary has opened the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System market to us with the EnerLinks line of digital video data links
  • Began construction of ViaSat-1 – a new very high capacity Ka band broadband satellite for the U.S. and Canada. Space Systems/Loral is building the satellite to our design specifications and Loral Space & Communications purchased the Canadian coverage beams from ViaSat in anticipation of providing service through its Telesat Canada subsidiary
  • Received an order from Eutelsat’s SkyLogic subsidiary for the ground networking infrastructure for next generation SurfBeam broadband for their KA-SAT satellite – planned for launch in 2010. We are working closely with Eutelsat to develop the European Ka-band broadband market and we both expect to benefit from the economies of scale of deploying next generation SurfBeam over the two highest capacity broadband satellites ever built

Challenges usually also involve opportunities – and this year’s biggest challenge for most businesses is the global macro-economic environment. While “business as usual” will likely be difficult it’s likely that companies that offer exceptional value will thrive. Given our focus on using advanced & innovative technologies to reduce costs for our customers we are still aiming to continue growing in both government and commercial markets in 2009. In our government business we have been effective in applying commercial technologies and market development strategies to deliver exceptional value for defense satellite, data link and information assurance products. Our commercial business has been oriented towards addressing both ground and space technology aspects of delivering more bandwidth, more effectively at lower costs than other alternatives in our target markets. We think both of those top level strategies have real merit in these challenging times.

2009: We’re optimistic about our prospects across our diverse product and market base. Ultimately we want to play a key role in delivering high speeds and volumes of bandwidth to hard-to-reach fixed and mobile platforms and locations. For our government customers we must take into account their unique needs for rugged, reliable equipment; integration into complex government specific networks and applications; and robustness to interference and electronic attacks; along with high levels of information assurance and protection. For commercial customers we aim to deliver services that are competitive with typical terrestrial services, but are delivered in the most difficult to reach places. The exciting part is that customer expectations for bandwidth are ever-increasing. That means it takes a constant and high level of technical innovation to meet those expectations. You can’t stand still. For a company that lives to push the entire spectrum of technologies for high-speed, cost-effective broadband, that means an exciting future indeed

About the author
Mr. Dankberg co-founded ViaSat Inc. in 1986 and has led the company's rapid growth. He has held the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. Mr. Dankberg began his career with the Collins Radio Division of Rockwell International, and at Linkabit Corp in San Diego, where he held positions in engineering, technical management and business segment management. Under his leadership, ViaSat has consistently been one of America’s fastest growing technology companies and has been recognized multiple times by leading business publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Business 2.0, Red Herring, and others as one of America’s best and fastest growing technology businesses. Mr. Dankberg has been recognized as an Entrepreneur of the Year in San Diego in 2000, as the Satellite Industry Executive of the Year in 2003, and received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace International Communications Award in 2008. He is an acknowledged industry expert in aerospace, defense and satellite communications, has co-authored several military standards on satellite networking, and holds a number of patents in communications and satellite networking technologies. He has participated on Department of Defense advisory panels and was invited to testify before a Congressional committee on high technology growth companies and IPOs.

About the company
ViaSat is part of the well-known Linkabit Corporation “family-tree” that spawned hundreds of San Diego area telecom startups, including Qualcomm, General Instruments, and Titan. Founded in 1986 by three former M/A-Com Linkabit employees, ViaSat is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol VSAT. The company employs over 1,850 professional and support personnel. The largest department by far is engineering, with many holding graduate degrees in electrical engineering or computer science. Annual revenues hit a record $575 million during the most recently completed fiscal year (ended March 28, 2008). ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to any location. We bring today’s new communication applications to people out of reach of terrestrial networks, in both the commercial and government sectors, with a variety of networking products.