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Telesat Begins Deploying Its Global Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Constellation with Successful Launch of Phase 1 Satellite


January 12, 2018


Telesat announced the successful launch of its first LEO satellite, an important milestone in the company’s plans to deploy a global LEO constellation that will revolutionize broadband communications services around the world. Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite was launched aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The spacecraft was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) based in the U.K., a world leader in small satellites and part of the Airbus Defence and Space group. 


Telesat’s LEO constellation will deliver high-performing, cost-effective, fiber-like broadband anywhere in the world for business, government and individual users. The initial constellation will consist of approximately 120 satellites by 2021 and Telesat is evaluating options to expand its system beyond this initial configuration.  


The company’s Phase 1 testing will demonstrate key features of Telesat’s LEO system design, in particular the capability of the satellite and customer terminals to deliver a low-latency broadband experience that MEO and GEO satellites cannot provide. Telesat has installed ground infrastructure at its teleport in Allan Park in Canada to support testing and has customers in growing enterprise segments who will be participating in trials during 2018.


“Telesat has a long record of industry firsts that have brought major satellite innovations to market and our LEO constellation will be another breakthrough that transforms global communications,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “The launch of our Phase 1 satellite is the starting point in making our next generation LEO system a reality and we thank SSTL and ISRO for the success of the mission to date. Telesat is uniquely positioned to deliver the world’s most advanced and capable LEO constellation given our deep technical expertise, strong track record of innovation, senior spectrum rights, and laser-like focus on customer service and support. We look forward to beginning customer trials on Telesat LEO and continuing to collaborate with industrial partners as we work to deploy a state-of-the-art, high capacity network that will deliver transformative, low latency, fiber-like broadband to commercial and government users throughout the world.”