PARIS — Australian teleport operator NewSat announced an agreement with European launch consortium Arianespace Dec. 9 to loft a -built Ka-band satellite designed to cover the Middle East, Africa and Asia in the second half of 2014.
Melbourne-based NewSat plans up to seven orbital slots in Ka- and Ku-band in the coming years to provide high-bandwidth communication services to government and enterprise markets, including mining, oil, gas, media and carrier-grade telecommunications.
NewSat, which reported $30.5 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 2011, says agreements to build and launch Jabiru-1 are contingent upon the receipt of financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and France’s Coface. With work on Jabiru-1 to begin immediately, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., has given NewSat until June 30 to complete financing for spacecraft construction.
A publicly held company traded on the Australian stock exchange, NewSat expects 75-80% of financing for Jabiru-1 to come from export credit loans, with the remainder drawn from equity.
Jabiru-1, Australia’s first independently owned commercial satellite, is expected to provide greater than 7 ghz of Ka-band capacity, and features substantial flexibility in allocating capacity among a combination of high-powered beams.
“We now have a satellite being built and launched by the world’s best vendors, Lockheed Martin and Arianespace, and combined with $279 million of cornerstone customer contracts, NewSat is rapidly transforming into a global satellite operator,” says Adrian Ballintine, its founder and chief executive, in a Dec. 9 statement.
The contracts include: a $134 million agreement with mobile data management systems integrator 3A Technology of Egg Harbor City, N.J., to service government and enterprise customers in Pakistan and Afghanistan; a $105 million deal with Houston-based broadband services provider TrustComm to service government agencies and commercial customers in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; and a $40 million contract with United Arab Emirates-based telecom and IT services provider Quicklink Communications to service government and enterprise customers in Africa, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. In addition, NewSat says it has up to $575 million worth of mid- to high-stage opportunities for military and enterprise clients.