Telesat To Provide X-band To Canadian Government

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat on May 31 announced it will provide X-band satellite bandwidth to Canadian government agencies in Canada and worldwide under a contract that foresees regular use of satellites owned by Astrium Services of Europe.

The contract, whose value was not disclosed, is with Shared Services Canada (SSC), an agency created in mid-2011 to streamline Canadian government use of information technologies. SSC is part of the country’s Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Telesat said it won the contract following a competitive bidding process.

Telesat and Astrium Services announced separately that Telesat would use Astrium’s X-band satellite capacity to meet Canadian government demand worldwide. Astrium Services, through its Paradigm Secure Communications division, owns and operates the British Skynet fleet of military communications satellites. Astrium has leased the X-band payload aboard Telesat’s Anik G1 satellite, scheduled for launch late this year, for the satellite’s 15-year life.

Anik G1, whose main mission is commercial telecommunications in Ku- and C-band, carries three X-band transponders for fixed and mobile communications. The satellite will operate at 107.3 degrees west in geostationary orbit, with X-band coverage over almost all of North and South America and a large swath of the Pacific Ocean.

In a May 31 statement, Simon Kershaw, executive director of the Astrium Services Telecom Governmental division, said the agreement with Telesat “will give Canadian federal agencies complete flexibility across our extensive X-band constellation and networks, as well as the ability to easily switch between the satellites to meet mission-critical needs.”