Advanced Television

Telesat could reduce size of LEO constellation

March 23, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Ottawa-based Telesat says it is considering ordering fewer Low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. The operator’s prime contractor is suffering from Covid-based manufacturing delays.

CEO Dan Goldberg, speaking to analysts following the company’s financial statement, said that it was facing a set of problems.

“There’s supply chain issues which are causing delays, and there are inflationary pressures just across the entire economy right now, and we’re getting bitten by kind of both of those things right now,” he said.

Goldberg suggested that Telesat would either have to raise more cash (beyond the C$5 billion budget) or trim the size of the fleet.

The original plan was to launch 298 satellites into the Telesat Lightspeed constellation.

Goldberg told analysts that it could offer a global service with 188 satellites in orbit. “Even with 100 less satellites, for instance, we’ll still have terabits and terabits of capacity and a very capable global constellation that … we feel good about,” he stated.

Goldberg said that the current plan would be to launch the satellites in 2025 and for a service introduction in 2026.

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