Satellite fleet operator Telesat of Canada on Feb. 25 said it was about to order two small Ka-band telecommunications satellite to be launched into low Earth orbit in 2017 to validate technologies the company would apply to a global constellation of broadband spacecraft.
Telesat and APT Satellite Co. have agreed to divide the cost of a new satellite to replace their jointly owned Telstar 18/Apstar-5 a successor to built by Space Systems Loral and launched in early 2018.
The new-version H-2A is designed to offer up to three commercial flights per year with improved orbital-injection features.
The announcement comes as Telesat’s shareholders continue to debate the company’s future ownership structure and an initial public offer of stock.
Loral Space and Communications, in the latest attempt to monetize its majority-stake investment in Canadian satellite fleet operator Telesat, is pressuring co-investor PSP Investments to allow Telesat to perform an initial public offering (IPO) of stock, Loral said.
Telesat of Canada, Hispasat of Spain and YahSat of the United Arab Emirates on May 26 were the high bidders at a Brazil auction of satellite orbital slots and associated frequencies, winning four licenses at three orbital slots, according to Brazil’s telecommunications regulator, Anatel.
The chief executives of SES, Intelsat and Eutelsat each gave a flat “No” when asked whether spectrum now reserved for satellites in most places in the world would be subject to sharing under pressure from mobile broadband networks.
Loral said it is continuing to explore a transaction with an unnamed high bidder.
With its debt coming down and its revenue going up, Telesat is doing what it takes to pretty itself up for a buyer.
While it waits to learn who its new owner will be, Telesat continues to reduce its debt and manage its business.
Telesat reported a 6 percent increase in revenue and a 9 percent increase in gross profit in 2013 despite a slow end-year performance.
In addition to the success of Anik G1, which is entering the Latin American market at a time of high demand and in advance of multiple other satellites planned over the region, Telesat benefited from the lease of an older Nimiq satellite in the three months ending Sept. 30.
Telesat's Telstar 12 replacement satellite will be built not by SSL, but by Astrium Satellites.
Its Nimiq 6 and Anik G1 satellites now operational in orbit and generating revenue, and Anik G1 providing growth potential in Latin America — and no big capex commitments for now — Telesat is all dressed up and ready for a stock-market introduction or a sale.