Telesat hits light speed with NSSLGlobal

26 August 2021 | Gareth Willmer

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Canada-based satellite operator Telesat has signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with NSSLGlobal, an independent provider of satellite communications to the government and maritime industry, to collaborate on the commercial and technical aspects of its new low-Earth-orbit (LEO) constellation, Telesat Lightspeed.

The deal includes the integration of Lightspeed services into NSSLGlobal’s value-added network, while the latter will provide a European end-user testing and trials facility for Lightspeed services at its UK headquarters, and plans to market the network’s offerings into the region’s defence and maritime markets.

The two companies have already worked in close cooperation for many years, including on live Lightspeed demonstrations for key customers since 2019.

Telesat says Lightspeed, which initially comprises a global mesh network of 298 satellites integrated with on-ground data networks, will be the “world’s most advanced LEO network”. Earlier in August, the company announced that it expected to receive C$1.44 billion in investment from the Canadian government, describing this as a “major milestone” towards completing the financing of Lightspeed.

Of the NSSLGlobal deal, Tom Eaton, vice president of international sales at Telesat, said: “The Telesat Lightspeed network will deliver the global, secure, resilient and low-latency connectivity that NSSLGlobal’s blue-chip maritime and government customers demand for their next-generation applications.”

Sally-Anne Ray, group CEO at NSSLGlobal, added: “Telesat Lightspeed will be a game-changer for our long-standing customers, who demand the most reliable, cutting-edge technologies on the market. As cloud-based services become ever more prevalent within our customers’ networks, it is vital that we are able to support these latency-sensitive applications.”