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Monday, 21 March 2011 12:38

Optus announces 10th satellite - UPDATED

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Optus has announced plans to launch a new satellite, its tenth, to be built by Space Systems Loral and delivered in 2013.


It will have 24 Ku band transponders providing full coverage of Australia and New Zealand. Its primary application wil be delivery of satellite broadcast services but it will also provide two way voice and broadband data services for business customers.

The satellite will be known as Optus 10 and will be the tenth launched since Optus' predecessor, Aussat launched the A-1 satellite in 1985. The move also marks a shift in the nomenclature: the previous satellites were know as the A, B, C and D series indicating different generations of technology.

Paul Sheridan, Director of Optus Satellite, told iTWire that the new satellite, which will have a 15 year design five would augment existing capacity rather than replace any of the existing satellites. Optus presently has five working satellites: B3, C1, and D1,2 and 3.

Sheridan said that Optus' willingness to invest in the new satellite demonstrated its commitment to augmenting capacity for customers and ensuring the resilience of its satellite network.

He declined to put a figure on the cost of the bird, but said in the past that Optus had spend in excess of $500m on its three D - Series satellites, which were built by Orbital Sciences Corporation

The Optus 10 will be one of five new satellites planned for launch by Australian companies in the next five years. NBN Co is planning to commission two geostationary satellites to deliver its service to those beyond the economic reach of wireless or fibre, and ASX listed NewSat (ASX: NWT) is close to finalising funding for its Jabiru one satellite and says it plans to have dedicated capacity on another, unspecified, planned satellite.

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