NewSat wins contract with European satellite operator

NewSat will provide ground infrastructure support and future satellite services from its Adelaide facility to a European satellite operator as part of a new master purchase agreement.

Australia's satellite communications company NewSat has entered into a master purchase agreement with an undisclosed European-based satellite operator.

Under the agreement, NewSat will procure and install two 11-metre antennas to supply ground infrastructure support and provide future satellite services from its teleport facility in Adelaide. It will also host and maintain the ground station in Australia.

NewSat said the agreement is the first step towards a long-term role in supporting the European-based satellite operator in the region.

"We welcome this strategic partnership with a European-based satellite operator and look forward to working with them on this contract and more into the future," said Don Brown, NewSat senior vice president of strategic planning.

NewSat has also been trying to launch its AU$620 million satellite program Jabiru-1. While it was due to launch in mid-2012, Jabiru-1 is now expected to be launched in mid-2015.

The company has been scouting for additional capital to fund the program. In August, NewSat said it is in discussions with multiple parties, and felt a "high degree of comfort that capital is available from a range of sources".

This was despite the fact that NewSat's CEO Adrian Ballintine had said last year that the company secured the AU$611 million it required for the Jabiru-1 satellite launch, including the AU$105 million it secured in equity in February 2013.

The company has also previously signed a number of deals with companies, including a Pakistani telecommunications company and the US military for capacity on the satellite over 15 years.

Last December, NewSat offered to buy two of NBN Co's Ka-band satellites off the government. The satellites, which are due for launch in 2015, are expected to service 3 percent of premises in Australia, where broadband services will continue via satellite.