Ottawa-based Telesat is looking to order up to 300 Low Earth Orbiting satellites, and had been expected to confirm its supplier about now.
However, Telesat’s CEO Dan Goldberg told analysts that it was taking longer to decide on a manufacturer and now says that a decision was more likely during the first few months of 2020.
There had been two potentil contenders for the order: Europe’s Airbus Defence & Space and a consortium made up of Thales-Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies. However, that joint-venture has fallen apart and the Thales and Maxar are now likely to be competitors.
The contract is reportedly worth about $3 billion, and the first 200 satellites are due to be orbited by 2022, and with all 300 in place by 2023.
Telesat is the world’s fourth-largest satellite operator with 16 geostationary craft in orbit. About half of the fleet supply direct-to-home signals for Canadian viewers.