ViaSat has acquired NetNearU, a privately-held company that developed a technology-agnostic system for managing public Wi-Fi and other wireless Internet access networks including hotspots, enterprise, campus, and metro installations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
NetNearU TRACKOS software provides automated and real-time provisioning, authentication, billing, roaming, quality of service, advertising, network monitoring, and support. The cloud-based, white-labeled Wi-Fi software could be used by wireless carriers, cable operators, the U.S. military, and other customers.
ViaSat said this acquisition expands its ability to deliver high-speed satellite services and Internet access. The systems will be used to extend ViaSat Exede services to a growing base of subscribers for multiple markets, including commercial airlines, live events, hospitality, enterprise networking and government broadband projects.
Operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary, NetNearU will retain its Bryan/College Station, Texas location—also establishing a ViaSat presence in Texas. The transaction is expected to be accretive to ViaSat non-GAAP (pro forma) earnings for fiscal year 2015. However, ViaSat has not completed its valuation analysis and, accordingly, has not determined the impact to GAAP earnings.
"Wi-Fi is an increasingly important way to access broadband networks and cloud services," said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. "NetNearU's breadth and depth in Wi-Fi expertise gives us important new ways to deliver more value and convenience from our networks."
The 15-year, renewable license permits operation of the ViaSat Mantarray, low-profile airborne antenna on the ViaSat Ka-band satellite fleet of ViaSat-1, WildBlue-1, and Anik-F2.
"This is the first license of its kind in the world," said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. "We're gratified to see the FCC recognizing that the advanced technical design of this equipment is compatible with the operating environment in which our other Exede services successfully operate. Now airlines, and their passengers, will have access to an unprecedented amount of bandwidth. We want to let everyone on board be connected at high speed."
ViaSat is preparing to launch its "Exede In The Air" in-flight broadband service this fall with initial availability on the U.S. fleets of JetBlue Airways and one other major airline. Approximately 400 aircraft are already under contract to receive the service.