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Optus to take control of NBN Co satellites

Wins five-year telemetry, tracking and control contract

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Optus has won a five-year contract to provide command and control functions for the NBN Co satellites due for launch in 2015.

The two satellites, now under construction, will provide connectivity to the most remote two percent of Australian households – those that fell outside the footprint of both the planned-but-to-be-canned fibre network and the wireless service.

Optus will provide telemetry, tracking and control services for the satellites, from the Belrose (Sydney) facility that controls its own fleet of satellites.

The NBN Co satellite service is designed to cover 200,000 homes that can't get any other service, and the launch will be eagerly awaited by ISPs who signed onto the interim satellite service currently in operation, since that service reached capacity in December 2013 at 48,000 connections.

Other satellite operators, like NewSat, have been less enthusiastic about the handling of the NBN satellite plans, since they have their own birds – and business models – to look to.

Loral is constructing the satellites under a $AU620 million contract, with the satellites specified to deliver 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload speeds. ®

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