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Optus Selects Launch Partner for Next Gen Satellite

17 November 2021

Optus, Australia’s largest and most experienced satellite owner and operator, has selected Arianespace to provide launch services for Optus 11, the replacement for its D1 Satellite.

The replacement of D1 is planned for 2023 and will see Optus’ next generation satellite, Optus 11, launch into orbit. This next generation satellite, the Asia-Pacific region’s first software-defined high throughput satellite (HTS), will be capable of delivering expanded coverage, enhanced performance and increased flexibility into the region’s broadcast and broadband capability.

Optus 11 will be launched at Arianespace’s launch facilities in French Guiana, South America. Optus has a long-standing relationship with Arianespace, with the two organisations first working together more than 30 years ago on the launch of Optus A3, Optus’ third spacecraft.

“A vital element to the successful deployment of a new satellite are the partners that we work with. We are delighted to be partnering again with Arianespace, who’s demonstrated over many years the ability to consistently deliver a precise deployment and speed to orbit” said Ben White, Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy at Optus.

While traditional satellites are limited by on-ground configurations which can’t be altered after launch, Optus 11 will begin with next-gen technology that can be fully configurable in space, meaning its location, coverage, bandwidth and capacity can be changed in orbit as customer demands evolve.

White said, “A successful launch will position Optus to build on our delivery of unparalleled flexibility for our satellite broadcast and data customers across Australia and New Zealand and using satellite backhaul to provide critical support for our mobile network’s contributions to the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).”

“We are delighted and honoured by this renewed mark of confidence from the operator Optus,” said Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace.  “Over the last 21 years, we have carried out all launches for Optus, and Ariane 6 will now continue this long and successful track record.”

Optus provides satellite services to Australia and NZ Government departments, companies and broadcasters including Foxtel, ABC, SBS, Seven Network, regional broadcasters such as Imparja Television, Sky New Zealand and Kordia, in addition to services in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.