Specialist satellite research from Quilty Analytics, in its latest report, has looked in detail at Ottawa-based Telesat and its Low Earth orbiting (LEO) plans for its Lightspeed project.
Lightspeed is a 298-craft crosslinked next-generation constellation with an advanced ground infrastructure to create a highly secure, global mesh network that will mainly serve enterprise/ B2B markets, including carriers & MNOs, and customers in aero, maritime, and government.
The first Telesat Lightspeed launches are planned for late 2023, and commercial service could commence in 2024.
Chris Quilty, Partner of Quilty Analytics, commented, “In our last Satcom Quarterly, we delved into SpaceX’s Starlink and the role it could play in fulfilling Elon Musk’s ambitions to colonise Mars. The positive comments we received were very gratifying, and many subscribers asked if we could do a similar evaluation of Telesat Lightspeed. Our key findings on Lightspeed are supported by discussions with colleagues across the space industry and communications with senior executives at Telesat.”
Key findings from Quilty say that:
Quilty added, “The Lightspeed effort represents Telesat’s greatest opportunity in its 50-year history, but also presents significant risks. Challenges include: (1) securing financing, (2) keeping the programme on-budget and on-schedule, and (3) driving billions in revenue from broadband SATCOM markets that have historically seen only modest growth. Compounding these challenges, Telesat can expect to face well-backed GEO/NGSO competitors that are likely to enter years ahead of Telesat Lightspeed.”