Optus prepares for launch of tenth satellite

The creatively named Optus 10 will launch next month

Optus's tenth satellite — the creatively named Optus 10 — will launch next month, the telco announced this morning. Optus 10, which is expected to last more than 15 years, will increase resilience and bandwidth of the telco's satellite fleet, Optus said in a statement.

The Ku-band satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in late May. Optus announced the satellite just over three years ago.

The satellite has been built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), which is also building two Ka-band satellites to deliver NBN Co's Long-Term Satellite Service.

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.

In February, the telco 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.

Last month, Optus revealed that the Defence Department had extended by four years its C1 managed satellite services agreement with the telco.

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