Telesat: “We will align with US C-band plan”

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Ottawa-based Telesat says it will participate in any upcoming C-Band reorganisation of capacity over the USA.

CEO Dan Goldberg told analysts: “We’ll participate in the proceeding. We’re not at this point in time aligned with SES and Intelsat and Eutelsat on their position there. We’re sympathetic to the direction that the FCC is heading. We understand their policy objectives about trying to find more C-band, more spectrum to make available for 5G activities.”

“We are all aligned with the other satellite operators to the extent that there’s a recognition that those of us that have made big investments in C-band infrastructure capable of serving the US should be compensated if that spectrum that we’ve all relied upon is being reassigned to other services. We’re not going to say at this point what our US C-band revenues are as part of the proceeding everyone needs to make certain information available.”

Goldberg was speaking at Telesat’s Q2 results presentation (to June 30th 2018) on Aug 2nd, which saw Goldberg tell the market that revenues for the quarter-year were C$212 million (down from C$226m in the same period last year) and which led to a C$6 million loss (C$148m profit). “The $154 million difference was the result of a higher non-cash loss on foreign exchange arising principally from the translation of Telesat’s US dollar denominated debt into Canadian dollars in the second quarter of 2018,” stated the operator.

Goldberg updated the market on Telesat’s plans to launch a fleet of LEO craft. The first test satellite is already in orbit. “We’ll be using the satellite to validate some of the design parameters of our LEO constellation and to do testing and demonstrations in concert with other companies and satellite users who have a keen interest in next generation LEO satellite services.”

He added that recent instructions to Airbus and Thales Alenia/Maxar would further develop and validate the system design for Telesat’s planned LEO constellation [of 117 satellites].”

“We anticipate this work will take approximately nine months to complete at which point we expect to receive a commercial proposal from each of these contractors to deliver the key elements, namely the satellites, certain ground segment and the overall system integration of the Telesat LEO constellation. These are world class companies and we’ve had the privilege to work with over the past decades and we look forward to working together in the coming months to complete the design of our state-of-the-art and truly disruptive plan Low Earth Orbit satellite broadband constellation,” said Goldberg.


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