Satellite
News and Media About Optus Satellite Satellite Network Services
Satellite Key Milestones

Snapshot of our history

1980s
1980 The National Satellite System group formed within the Overseas Telecommunications Commission to establish Australia’s national satellite system.
1981 The Australian Government forms AUSSAT, a government owned company to own and operate the national satellite system.
1985 Australia’s first two satellites are launched (A1 in August and A2 in November) and domestic satellite services commence in Australia; particularly remote & rural TV broadcasting.
1987 AUSSAT A3 launched in September to meet the ever-growing demand for satellite services in Australia. A3 adds South West Pacific services including New Zealand coverage.

 

1990s
1992 Optus acquired AUSSAT and became Australia’s first privately owned communications carrier, a consortium which included Cable & Wireless.
Cable & Wireless Optus launched Optus B1 in August.
1994 Optus B3 launched in August and placed into a storage orbit.
Optus MobileSat Service launched in August. The world’s first land mobile satellite telephone service.
1995 Optus B3 commissioned and first Australian pay-TV services commence via satellite.
1998 Cable & Wireless Optus launched Aurora services and established B3 as Australia’s hotbird. Optus B1 confirmed as New Zealand’s hotbird.

 

2000s and the future
2001 Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) completed the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Optus Limited. SingTel Australia now holds 100 per cent of the ordinary shares in Optus.
2003 Optus launched in June the world’s largest and most complex hybrid commercial and military communications satellite, Optus C1, in partnership with the Australian Defence Force.
2006 Optus launched its 8th satellite, Optus D1 on the 13 October 2006.
2007 Optus launched its 9th satellite, Optus D2 on the 6 October 2007.
2009 Scheduled to launch its 10th satellite, Optus D3.