Cable & Wireless Optus today announced it will launch a A$500 million satellite in early 2002. Called the C1 satellite, it will become Australia's -hotbird' delivering the majority of the country's satellite services.
The announcement follows the successful completion of negotiations with the Australian Department of Defence, and key suppliers Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) and their partner Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and Arianespace.
Cable & Wireless Optus Chief Executive, Chris Anderson, said: "The new satellite will ensure the strength of Cable & Wireless Optus' satellite business for years to come and reaffirms our position as Australia's leading provider of satellite services."
The C1 satellite will be a hybrid communications and military satellite with a 15 year life span. The commercial payload will use approximately half the satellite's capacity and will provide Cable & Wireless Optus with enhanced capacity to deliver next generation direct-to-home TV and internet, telephony and high bandwidth data communications throughout Australia and into Asia.
The Department of Defence will utilise the remaining capacity of the satellite for high bandwidth, long range communications to support the Australian Defence Force. Called the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Capability (ADSCC), the system will for the first time provide robust and scalable communications between headquarters and ground forces.
"The benefits for Australia's Defence Forces will be better and more reliable communications across Australia and the region. For Cable & Wireless Optus, sharing with Defence provides an innovative means of reducing the capital expenditure required for its portion of the new satellite," said Mr Anderson.
The C1 satellite will be launched by Arianespace on an Ariane rocket from French Guiana. Arianespace was selected for its superior record as a reliable launch provider, with the company having successfully launched the Optus A3 satellite in 1987.
MELCO will act as the prime contractor and will develop the communications payload, while SSL will build and test the satellite, integrate the satellite with the payload.
For more information:
Cable & Wireless Optus
Tel: 02 9342 7850