Optus to launch new satellite in 2013

'Optus 10' satellite scheduled to be deployed for Australia and New Zealand

Optus today announced the announced that a new satellite, Optus 10, is scheduled to be deployed for Australia and New Zealand by 2013.

The telco said the new Optus 10 satellite will provide more capacity to its current satellite fleet, as well as enhance the resilience of the fleet. Satellite communication is mainly used by consumers and businesses in rural and regional areas that do not have access to traditional terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure.

The Optus 10 satellite will provide "high quality broadcast services" to households, and two-way voice and data communication services to areas in and around Australia and New Zealand.

"Satellite continues to make sense for Australia and Optus are honoured to continue to fly the country's largest satellite fleet providing this unique capability to our customers," said Vicki Brady, Optus wholesale and satellite managing director. "Today's announcement demonstrates Optus' commitment to our customers and to keeping Australia and New Zealand at the forefront of satellite technology. We continue to invest in our fleet and bring the latest communication technology into homes and businesses around the country, especially in regional and remote areas."

The Optus 10 satellite is scheduled to be delivered in 2013 and will be built by commercial satellite provider Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California.

The launch of the Optus 10 satellite follows the delivery of Optus' current D-Series satellites, which launched in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Current Optus satellite customers include Australian and New Zealand Government departments, and a range of broadcasters including Foxtel, ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network and Sky TV New Zealand.

Optus' broadband satellite service is currently eligible for the Australian Government's Broadband Guarantee program, meaning installation costs are subsidised by up to $2750. Optus Satellite broadband plans start from $39.95 per month plus set up charges.

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Ross Catanzariti

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