Ottawa-based satellite operator Telesat already has two satellites lined up for launch this year in the shape of Nimiq 6 and Anik G1. Nimiq 6 is already fully booked to supply TV channels for Bell TV’s DTH service over Canada and is due to launch shortly. Anik G1, which will launch later this year, is partly leased by Shaw Direct, also for DTH transmissions.
But Telesat needs more capacity on top of the current 91 per cent fill-rate for its satellites, one of the highest in the business. President and CEO Dan Goldberg said he expected to order up another craft this year to replace Telstar 12. Telstar 12 orbits over the mid-Atlantic Ocean from 15 degrees West and provides carriage between the Americas (North and South) and the USA and Europe as far East as the Middle East.
Telstar 12 was launched in October 1999 and would be expected to reach the end of its planned life in the next few years.