Optus 10 Satellite Launches on Sept 12

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 26, 2014 3:23 PM EST

The logo of Germany's biggest commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG on a satellite dish at the headquarters in Unterfoehring, near Munich in this February 26, 2014 file photo. German media group ProSiebenSat.1 reported on July 31, 2014 a 4.8 percent increase in second-quarter core earnings, fuelled by rising TV-advertising income in its German-speaking markets. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/Files (GERMANY - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)
The logo of Germany's biggest commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG on a satellite dish at the headquarters in Unterfoehring, near Munich in this February 26, 2014 file photo. German media group ProSiebenSat.1 reported on July 31, 2014 a 4.8 percent increase in second-quarter core earnings, fuelled by rising TV-advertising income in its German-speaking markets. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/Files (GERMANY - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)

 Optus, the second-biggest telco in Australia, will launch its Optus 10 satellite on Sept 12. The satellite was initially set for launch in May.

The telco just finished the final pre-shipment review of the satellite, which is being transported to the Guiana Space Centre in Kouru, Fench Guiana.  

Once launched, it will operate in the Ku-band FSS and BSS bands across Australia, New Zealand and Antarctic regions. Its lifespan is estimated to last for over 15 years.

"This satellite will expand fleet resilience and significantly increase Optus's fleet capacity, providing greater bandwidth to support the delivery of video, data and voice services to corporate enterprise and government customers," Optus Satellite Vice President Paul Sheridan said in a statement.

The delay in the launch was due to additional testing done on Optus 10, which was the reason that NewSat, an Australian company, announced the delay in the launch of its Jabiru-2 satellite because of an issue with the co-passenger satellite, referring to Optus 10.

But Optus said that the Sept 12 launch date could still be subject to change depending on the atmospheric conditions and technical considerations.

Optus 10, built by Space Systems/Loral, is Optus's response to the increasing demand for data by its 8 million plus customers. Optus had been losing customers since its customer base was 9.69 million in March 2013, which shrank after a year to 9.43 million.

Vodafone, another major telco in Australia, also lost 806,000 subscribers, also a result of outages that hit the telco in the past.

To address the high demand for data, the telcos have upgraded their facilities, Optus via the launch of the satellite and Vodafone by buying new equipment from Ericsson.

The Vodafone-Ericsson partnership isn't just in Australia. A week ago, the two tech giants also inked a 5-year deal for the Swedish firm to upgrade Vodafone India's network, which would manage pre-paid charging system for the telco's almost 75 million customers in India.

It would enhance the user experience of Vodafone India customers by providing a self-service functionality in the telco's customer base with the installation of new Charging Systems in circles in Uttar Pradesh West and East, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Ericsson has the existing contract for Mumbai's and Maharashtra's circles.

The upgrade by Ericsson of Vodafone's network in two countries is an indicator of the growing demand for data caused by the fast-paced growth in usage of smartphone and tablets to connect to the Internet.

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(Photo: / )
The logo of Germany's biggest commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG on a satellite dish at the headquarters in Unterfoehring, near Munich in this February 26, 2014 file photo. German media group ProSiebenSat.1 reported on July 31, 2014 a 4.8 percent increase in second-quarter core earnings, fuelled by rising TV-advertising income in its German-speaking markets. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/Files (GERMANY - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)
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