Low earth Orbit News Operators Satellite

Telesat selects Thales Alenia Space to build broadband constellation

Thales will provide the space and mission segments, and will be responsible for the end-to-end network performance.

Thales Alenia Space has signed an agreement with Canadian satellite operator Telesat to be the prime contractor on the construction of Lightspeed, its advanced LEO network, a multi-billion dollar project initially comprised of a fleet of 298 satellites.

This agreement has been signed in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery of France.

Telesat will rely on Thales Alenia Space not only to provide the space and mission segments, but also to be responsible for the end-to-end network performance and related specifications of the system.

Lightspeed’s space segment will initially comprise 298 satellites, in the 700-750 kg class. The network will deliver multiple terabits per second across the globe for secure, low-latency, high-performing broadband professional services.

The first satellites are expected to be ready for launch in two years.

Commenting on the contract, Hervé Derrey, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space, said: “I want to warmly thank Telesat for putting its trust in our company, and we are proud to have been selected after successfully going through a very demanding competitive process. Thales Alenia Space is mastering end-to-end flight-proven systems, digitalisation of payloads, inter-satellite links, management of international organisation as well as industrial capabilities dedicated to constellations, and we are honoured to capitalise on all this expertise to serve this major programme”.

Dan Goldberg, President and CEO of Telesat, added: “With our design and engineering work complete, we’re excited to move forward with Thales Alenia Space as our prime contractor to manufacture Lightspeed, the world’s most advanced and capable LEO network. Thales Alenia Space has an impressive track record and proven success in delivering innovative satellite constellations. We are grateful for the excellent work they have done to date on our project and look forward to working closely together to transform and redefine space-based communications with the Lightspeed network.”

In connection with the agreement, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio made a capacity commitment on Lightspeed.