Optus Satellite is collaborating with Telesat in trialing Telesat's low earth orbit (LEO) pathfinder. The leading satellite operator in Australia and New Zealand, Optus is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia and a wholly-owned division of SingTel communications.
Telesat's Phase 1 LEO satellite was launched in January 2018 and is now undergoing the process of commissioning, including being raised to the appropriate orbit. The Canadian service provider plans an initial LEO constellation of around 120 satellites by 2021, providing full global coverage. LEO communications clouds of hundreds to thousands of satellites are expected to provide low latency and "fiber-like" broadband to users.
Optus and Telesat plan to perform testing at Optus' satellite teleport and other locations in Australia. The two companies will also explore a longer term joint services and market development plan for Telsat's LEO services specific to Optus customer segments and regions of interest.
Telesat is also conducting operational trials with OmniAccess, a supplier of integrated communications equipment for superyachts and cruise ships.
SpaceX launched its first pathfinder satellites last month while OneWeb plans to launch its first 10 satellites sometime this year, with commercial service starting in 2019.