Defence extends Optus satellite contract

Four-year extension for C1 contract worth $19.5 million

The Department of Defence has extended its managed satellite services agreement with Optus for another four years, the telco announced this morning.

The contract is worth $19.5 million and covers the existing Defence payload on the C1 satellite.

"Signing this contract extends Defence's long and strong relationship with Optus in delivering satellite communications services," Air Commodore Nick Barneveld, the acting head of ICT operations in Defence's Chief Information Officer GroupCIOG, said in a statement

"Our people will continue to work together to ensure our military forces can stay connected and informed as they operate across Australia’s vast distances and beyond."

C1 was launched in June 2003 and has separate payloads for defence and Optus' commercial customers.

The initial C1 contract was signed by Defence in 1999, with both Defence and Optus having equal responsibility for the satellite. The satellite provides Defence with communications in the X, Ka and UHF radio frequency bands.

In February, Optus announced it had won a five-year contract with NBN Co to operate two satellites that will deliver the Long Term Satellite Service for the National Broadband Network. The first of NBN Co's Ka-band satellites is due to launch in the second half of 2015.

Optus' satellite business was last year the subject of a strategic review by parent company SingTel. Based on the review, SingTel committed itself to "growing and investing in the satellite business," the company said in an ASX statement.

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