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ThinKom Solutions and Telesat Sign Agreement to Integrate Ka-Band Antennas on Telesat Lightspeed™ Satellite Network

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ThinKom Solutions and Telesat today announced a teaming agreement to collaborate on integrating ThinKom’s Ka2517 aeronautical antennas with the advanced Telesat Lightspeed LEO satellite broadband network. 

The two companies will work together to facilitate operations of the Ka2517 antennas on the fully integrated 298 satellite and ground network, which is expected to begin services in 2023. The efforts under the agreement will include integration of the Ka2517 as a complete aeronautical User Terminal solution, followed by formal type approval of the Ka2517 on the Telesat Lightspeed network.  

Based on the high performance and efficiency of the Ka2517 antennas and Telesat’s advanced LEO satellite network, downlink speeds are expected to reach up to 830 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 200 Mbps to a single aircraft. 

Ka2517 antennas have already been successfully tested on Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite, validating tracking of the LEO satellite, extremely high spectral efficiencies, and ultra-low latency of 20-40 msec. Additional testing will be conducted to validate both intra- and inter-satellite handovers on the Ka2517 terminal when the Telesat Lightspeed satellites are in orbit. 

The Ka2517, utilizing ThinKom’s patented VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) technology, is DO-160-approved and currently in full production with multiple Supplemental Type Certificates awarded for both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. ThinKom expects hundreds of these Ka-band aero antennas to be operating on geostationary (GEO) satellites when the Telesat Lightspeed network is ready to support commercial service. It will be straightforward and inexpensive for an airline to modify any of these installed GEO-only Ka2517 antenna systems to interoperate with the Telesat Lightspeed LEO satellite constellation and existing GEO networks. 

“The collaboration agreement between ThinKom and Telesat will ensure a streamlined path for Ka2517 antennas already in service as well as new installations to operate seamlessly over Telesat’s LEO network,” said Bill Milroy, Chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions. “Our proven VICTS aero antenna technology, combined with the Telesat Lightspeed optical laser-linked global coverage, low latency, high throughput and reconfigurable dynamic beam flexibility, will provide a low-risk, cost-competitive ‘overnight upgrade’ solution for airlines serving both global and regional routes, including high-latitude polar areas.” 

“Technology’s quickening pace coupled with ever-growing passenger internet demands are putting increased pressure on connectivity decisions airlines are making today,” said Erwin Hudson, Telesat’s Vice President, Lightspeed System Operations. “With ThinKom’s Ka2517 antenna development, airlines no longer have to rip-and-replace aircraft antennas to take advantage of the higher throughput, lower latency, and true global connectivity available with the upcoming Telesat Lightspeed LEO network.”

About ThinKom Solutions  ThinKom Solutions, Inc., is a leading provider of innovative, highly affordable, compact broadband multi-beam antennas and products for aeronautical, vehicular, user terminal, gateway, satellite and man-portable applications. The company’s primary products uniquely enable near-term worldwide availability of high-data-rate connectivity in the X-, Ku-, Ka-, Q- and V-bands. ThinKom offers a range of reliable, proven technology solutions for the consumer, enterprise, first responder, civil, military and intelligence communities.

About Telesat Backed by a legacy of engineering excellence, reliability and industry-leading customer service, Telesat is one of the largest and most successful global satellite operators. Telesat works collaboratively with its customers to deliver critical connectivity solutions that tackle the world’s most complex communications challenges, providing powerful advantages that improve their operations and drive profitable growth.

Continuously innovating to meet the connectivity demands of the future, Telesat Lightspeed, the company’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, will be the first and only LEO network optimized to meet the rigorous requirements of telecom, government, maritime and aeronautical customers. Operating under its international priority Ka-band spectrum rights, Telesat Lightspeed will redefine global satellite connectivity with ubiquitous, affordable, high-capacity links with fibre-like speeds.

Privately held and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices and facilities around the world, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL). For more information, visit www.telesat.com.  

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