Telesat Keeps their Hopes up about Prospects for LEO Constellation

Telesat Keeps their Hopes up about Prospects for LEO Constellation

Telesat would possibly start receiving that funding once the Telesat LEO constellation starts its service. However, the company has not yet chosen a manufacturer for those satellites. In an October 29 earnings call, Telesat Chief Executive Dan Goldberg stated that the company would make an announcement regarding satellite manufacturers before the end of 2020.

Fremont, CA: As SpaceX starts preparing to extend its Starlink beta test program to Canada, Telesat seems hopeful that its broadband low Earth orbit constellation would find enough business to be successful.

On November 9, Telesat declared that it entered into an agreement with the Canadian government to deliver subsidized broadband internet services to rural communities in the country. The government is expected to pay Telesat $600 million Canadian ($460 million) over ten years, and Telesat would, in turn, provide a “dedicated pool” of broadband capacity for rural communities at low cost.

Telesat would possibly start receiving that funding once the Telesat LEO constellation starts its service. However, the company has not yet chosen a manufacturer for those satellites. In an October 29 earnings call, Telesat Chief Executive Dan Goldberg stated that the company would make an announcement regarding satellite manufacturers before the end of 2020.

Late manufacturing leads to delayed deployment. However, Schwartz stated that he was not worried that a delay in deploying the constellation would jeopardize an International Telecommunication Union requirement to have at least 10 percent of its 298-satellite system in orbit by February 2023. The company seems confident that it can meet the deadline, and even if it does not, he stated he is hopeful that Telesat can get that requirement waived by demonstrating it has active contracts for building as well as launching satellites.

On the other hand, SpaceX has been rapidly deploying its Starlink broadband constellation, with over 800 satellites currently in orbit. The company has already launched 180 satellites on three Falcon 9 missions in October.

SpaceX has set off a beta test of the Starlink constellation for customers in the northern United States. SpaceX is also planning to expand that beta test north of the border. Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada declared on November 6 that it had given regulatory approval for SpaceX to operate the Starlink system in the country.

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