NewSat secures rights to eighth orbital slot

Satellite operator NewSat has arranged to purchase an eighth orbital slot, and expanded frequencies on its existing slots, from AP Kypros Satellite

Satellite operator NewSat (ASX:NWT) has enhanced its capacity to roll out new craft, with the purchase of an eighth orbital slot.

The company has signed a deal with Cyprus-based AP Kypros Satellite Limited to acquire a new orbital slot, and expanded frequencies on its existing seven slots.

NewSat CEO Adrian Ballintine said the expanded agreement with AP Kypros would allow the company to extend its satellite capacity for sale in high-demand regions.

“The expanded frequency allocations enable construction of more and larger satellites in existing slots, and the new slot is located in arguably the best position to service the middle east,” he said.

He said the expanded capacity could equate to additional revenues of $250 million or more per year once satellites are launched.

The payment for the extra slot and frequencies will be made in cash and shares. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

NewSat first arranged to acquire the initial seven orbital slots from AP Kypros in February 2011.

The company is preparing to launch its first geostationary satellite, Jabiru-1, by the end of the year, and is currently signing up customers for the craft.

In August last year, for example, NewSat secured a deal with communications service provider TrustComm worth at least $US105 million ($99.2 million). A month later, NewSat signed a $40 million contract with Quicklink Communications.

Ballintine said NewSat had so far secured $526 million in sales pre-commitments for Jabiru-1.

After falling in value for the last five business days, NWT shares grew 0.93 per cent to $0.540 on Thursday after the announcement was made.

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