Australia's Local Satellite Communication Provider Ranked Third on Space News Hot List

SpaceX, Orbital Science Corp and NewSat dominated this year's Top 5 Companies to Watch List of Space News.

  • (1888PressRelease) March 08, 2012 - As the Ka-band satellite communications carrier finalizes the financial arrangements for the construction of its first independently owned satellite, Space News magazine ranked NewSat third on its Top 5 Companies to Watch List. NewSat biggest deals in the recent months are contracts with satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin Space Systems and European satellite launch service provider Arianespace.

    The execution of the two arrangements will depend on financial agreements with credit providers. NewSat is hoping to get most of the construction funding from US Export-Import Bank, while the money for launching the communications satellite is likely to come from French agency Coface.
    The export-credit agency financing is projected to cover at least 75% of the total cost of the project. Lockheed Martin and Arianespace are also helping NewSat secure loans from the two financial institutions. It is a must that NewSat complete the fund raising by June 30 to meet the deadline for the planned launching of Jabiru in 2014.

    Jabiru-1 deployment has not yet started, but NewSat already secured pre-launch satellite communications capacity contract with Measat of Malaysia. The payload will be a part of the Jabiru-2 satellite service, which is expected to generate $110 million in annual revenues in 15 years (the estimated lifespan of the satellite).

    However, market uncertainties await the satellite communications provider. NBN will be launching two Ka-band satellites to provide high-speed wireless broadband services throughout rural Australia. But Newsat worries about the possible capacity surplus since one of the two satellites is only intended as a backup support. Two NBN satellites are slated to be launched in 2015, serving most rural households. NewSat said its Jabiru fleet will mostly benefit the commercial organizations and other institutional clients, while NBN is mostly interested in serving the consumer and SME market.

    According to Space News, its Top 5 To Watch List is mainly based on subjective criteria. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) topped this year's list, followed by Orbital Science Corp.

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