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Telesat Canada is a Canadian satellite communications company founded on May 2, 1969. The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario as well as having offices in the United States and Brazil.

On October 5, 2007 Loral Space & Communications Inc. and the Public Pension Investment Board of Canada received the final regulatory approval necessary to complete the acquisition of Telesat from BCE Inc. for CAD $3.25 billion. The acquisition closed on October 31, 2007, with Loral owning 64 percent of Telesat.

At the same time, Telesat Canada merged with Loral Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications. Loral Skynet was a full-service global satellite operator headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey. This resulted in the transfer of all of the assets of Loral Skynet to Telesat.

The company is now the fourth-largest fixed satellite services provider in the world. As a result of the transaction, it has a global state-of-the-art fleet of 12 satellites, three additional satellites under construction, and a robust global teleport and fibre infrastructure that Telesat has seamlessly integrated with its satellite fleet to provide users with a range of advanced network solutions.

Telesat carries Canada's two major DBS providers signals: Bell TV and Star Choice, as well as more than 200 of Canada's television channels.

Telesats Anik F2 (and Anik F3) also carries the experimental 'Spot Beam' KA band, satellite internet access, for hundreds of thousands of users in the United States (Wildblue) and tens of thousands of users in Canada (Xplornet). The KA band system uses 'Spot Beams' to better manage bandwidth concerns, linking to multiple satellite ground stations connected to the internet. The experimental 'Spot Beam' system has proved too popular and does experience various speed issues, which may be resolved with new improved satellites in a few years.

Skynet’s customers included HBO, Disney, Cable & Wireless, Singapore Telecom, Connexion by Boeing, Global Crossing, BT North America, Globecomm Systems, UPC and China Central Television. These are now Telesat customers.

Loral Skynet provided a wide range of video and data transmission services. It became a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications when Loral acquired it in 1997 from AT&T.

Skynet’s fleet consists of Telstars-10, -12, -14 (Estrela do Sul), and -18. In 2003, Skynet sold its North American satellite fleet (Telstars 5 through 8 and 13) to Intelsat; they were renamed Intelsat Americas 5–8 and 13. This was done to help reduce debt after its parent, Loral Space & Communications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 15, 2003. As part of the agreement, Skynet was precluded from competing in the North American market until March 18, 2006. In June 2007, Loral Space & Communications made an unsuccessful bid to acquire Intelsat.


Telesat launched Anik A1 in 1972 as the world's first domestic communications satellite in geostationary orbit, operated by a commercial company. The satellite was retired from use in 1981.

On December 18, 2006, Loral Space & Communications announced that it, along with Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), would acquire Telesat for US$2.8b.

Satellites launched for Telesat

  • Anik A1 - 1972
  • Anik A2 - 1973
  • Anik A3 - 1975
  • Anik B - 1978
  • Anik D1 - 1982 - decommissioned 1991
  • Anik C3 - 1982
  • Anik C2 - 1983 - sold to Paracom S.A. 1993
  • Anik D2 - 1984 - sold to GE Americom 1991 and ARABSAT 1993
  • Anik C1 - 1985 - sold to Paracom S.A. 1993 and decommissioned 2003
  • Anik E2 - 1991
  • Anik E1 - 1991
  • MSAT - 1996
  • Nimiq 1 - 1999
  • Anik F1 - 2000
  • Nimiq 2 - 2002
  • Anik F2 - 2004
  • Anik F1R - 2005
  • Anik F3 - 2007

Future satellites

Nimiq 4 is currently under construction and slated for service in 2008. Nimiq 4 will provide advanced services such as high-definition television, specialty channels and foreign language programming.

Telesat has recently announced plans to build and launch its 19th satellite, Nimiq 5. It has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of the Nimiq 5 satellite in 2009.


External links

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