The total sold capacity of Jabiru-1 satellite now increased to $US346 million following a $US67 million deal between NewSat and a telco company in the Middle East.
With the recent $US67 million deal for the procurement of Ka band capacity of Jabiru-1 satellite, NewSat is about to complete the $400 million funding needed to build and launch its first independently owned geostationary satellite. A Middle Eastern telecommunications carrier made a $US67 million commitment to buy Ka band capacity last week, raising the total sold capacity of the satellite to $US346 million while pushing NewSat near the final stage of initial planning for the construction of Jabiru-1. The Australian satellite broadband carrier confirmed the deal following its announcement of a separate contract with Lockheed Martin for the construction of the Jabiru-1 satellite.
The hybrid satellite boasts of Ka, Ku and C band connectivity which will serve various continents. It will expand NewSat's Ka-band and C-band market coverage, providing high-speed Internet and wireless data transmission services across major markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
NewSat, which is listed in the Australian Stock Exchange, plans to use bank loans to meet 75% of the satellite project funding. As stock price jumped 5% early December when the Lockheed Martin contract was announced, analysts expect that it would be easier for NewSat to raise stocks to complete the needed capital funds.
Before closing its last deal, NewSat had secured $279 million contract sales from international telecommunications carriers and IT companies like 3A Technology, TrustComm and Quicklink Communications. A data management systems integrator, 3A Technology placed $134 million order to get the needed bandwidth to serve its private and public clientele in Afghanistan and Pakistan. TrustComm, which is a broadband provider based in the U.S., signed a $105 million deal with NewSat to expand its operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions in the Middle East. Eyeing a bigger market share in Africa and the Middle East, Quicklink Communications, a telecom and IT firm based in United Arab Emirates, also signed a $40 million contract with NewSat. The client will use the additional satellite capacity to serve its government and enterprise customers in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Comprising 5 geostationary satellites, the Jabiru fleet is deemed the most ambitious satellite broadband project to be launched by an independent satellite carrier in Australia. The first spacecraft will be a hybrid Ka, Ku and C band satellite to be positioned on geostationary orbit, serving key markets in Australia, the Middle East, South-East Asia and sections of Africa. To be launched after Jabiru-1, Jabiru 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be separately positioned in geostationary orbits to provide global coverage.
The scheduled launching of Jabiru-1 will mark Australia's entry into global satellite communications market, said CEO Allan Ballintine of NewSat. He founded the company originally as a high-tech firm which eventually grew into a purely Australian owned satellite provider. NewSat markets its high-frequency Ka-band as a solution to enterprise-grade connectivity, while the Ku and C band services are included as well in Jabiru-1 offering to provide the most flexible solutions to enterprise customers.
NewSat keeps the name of its new telco client secret due to competitive reasons.