Telesat signs LEO capacity deal with India’s Nelco
October 1, 2020
By Chris Forrester
In what could be a major agreement Ottawa-based Telesat has entered into a cooperation deal with Indian satellite communication service provider Nelco to collaborate on terrestrial facilities, commercial distribution and regulatory frameworks to offer satellite connectivity through Telesat’s low-Earth-orbit network, Telesat LEO, in India.
Telesat LEO craft are embryonic at best. There is one ‘test’ satellite (‘Vantage 1’) in orbit although plans to launch another 298. However, as yet, Telesat has not selected a manufacturer for the C$3 billion contract. The Telesat plan is to launch 78 craft in 2022 and another 220 by the end of 2023.
Telesat LEO’s open architecture will simplify the integration of its services with enterprise networks, including Nelco infrastructure and service offerings. Telesat LEO will provide complete coverage of India, in addition to potential benefits in areas like 4G/5G backhaul, mobile hotspots, distance education, telemedicine, village connectivity, and maritime and inflight connectivity.
Nelco, part of the Tata Group, is India’s fastest growing satellite communication service provider, according to the company. Nelco is listed on the Bombay and New York stock markets and The Tata Power Company Ltd. holds 50.1 per cent of the shares in the company.
Telesat LEO is a next generation satellite constellation that leverages Telesat’s global, priority Ka-band spectrum rights and patent-pending architecture to fundamentally transform global communications. Telesat LEO will help close the digital divide in remote and challenging locations, accelerate 5G expansion, and set new levels of performance for enterprise, telecom, mobility and government broadband connectivity on land, air and sea. The Telesat LEO constellation will provide complete coverage of India and superior enterprise connectivity in the country, subject to the necessary regulatory clearances.
Nelco, through this strategic relationship with Telesat, plans to serve new market segments and requirements for high-bandwidth, low latency applications with Telesat LEO connectivity.
Speaking on this new development, Mr. P J Nath, MD & CEO of NELCO said, “Considering the huge potential for Satcom services growth in the country in the coming years, we are continuously exploring the latest satellite technologies to bring better value to our customers and expand the market. We believe that our partnership with Telesat will help in bringing LEO satellites into the country, which has the potential to revolutionise connectivity in the future”.
“We are honoured to collaborate with Nelco, a highly innovative and respected enterprise connectivity leader in India,” stated Michael Schwartz, Telesat’s SVP/Corporate and Business Development. “Telesat LEO’s secure, high throughput, low-latency network will bring unsurpassed performance and flexibility for enterprise applications and extend the reach of terrestrial networks throughout India.”