Telesat Canada and partners join forces with the Canadian Space Agency to expand access to new multimedia services

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, April 14, 2000

OTTAWA, April 14, 2000 - John Manley, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, today announced a public-private sector partnership to develop and launch a specialized, multimedia, communications satellite payload.

The Canadian Space Agency, in collaboration with Telesat Canada of Gloucester, Ontario, and its partners, COM DEV International Limited of Cambridge, Ont. and EMS Technologies of Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que., selected on the basis of a competitive process, will develop, deploy and operate an innovative Ka band high-speed, multimedia communications payload. The multi-media payload, a key part of the $600 million ANIK F2 satellite, to be launched in 2002, will commercialize the use of the Ka band. This payload offers the promise to deliver cheaper, faster and more highly effective communications services and expand access to tele-medicine, tele-learning, tele-working, e-commerce, high-speed Internet and government services to citizens living in urban, rural and remote communities throughout Canada.

"For three decades, Canada has continued to lead the world in the development and use of satellite technology to bring state-of-the-art communications services to urban centres, as well as remote communities throughout the country," said Minister Manley. "Now, in addition to bringing Canadians exciting new multimedia services, we are enhancing the nation's competitiveness through our continuing support for leading-edge research and development."

The agreement announced today includes an $80 million investment from the Canadian Space Agency and an additional $29 million contribution by Canadian industry bringing the total value of the project to $109 million. Com Dev International Ltd and EMS Technologies will receive a total of $20M in non-repayable contributions to undertake research and development. In exchange for its portion of the investment, Telesat Canada will provide the Government of Canada with an equivalent value in multimedia satellite services. These services will support important initiatives such as tele-medicine, tele-learning and the SchoolNet.

The first satellite in North America to carry a digital on-board processor, Telesat Canada's Anik F2 will continue to position the Canadian satellite industry to compete effectively in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Direct economic benefits from the Anik F2 Ka band multimedia satellite services are projected at over $1 billion with an additional $550 million to be generated in the initial seven years from spin-off opportunities resulting from the export of payload technologies and products.

Funding for the agreement announced today is provided under the Canadian Space Program which is administered by the Canadian Space Agency. The Agreement will be jointly managed by the Canadian Space Agency, and the Communications Research Centre, an agency of Industry Canada.

Note to Editors - Signing and B-roll video available for download:
Friday, April 14th - 13:55 to 14:25: Anik E1, Ku-band, Transponder 9


For more information: Caroline Lavallee
Senior Communications Officer
Public Relations and Media
Canadian Space Agency
Cellular: (514) 943-6808

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, with its headquarters located in St Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency has set out to ensure that Canadians learn and benefit from the innovations of space science and technology. Its objectives are to support and promote a highly competitive space industry and address the needs of Canadian society. With almost half of Canada's GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued leadership on the world stage, new opportunities for industry and scientists, and long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.

About Telessat Canada

With over thirty years of engineering and technical experience, Telesat Canada is the world's most experienced commercial satellite operator. Telesat provides telecommunications and broadcast distribution services in the Americas and is a leading consultant, operator and partner in satellite ventures around the globe.

About COM DEV International

With over 25 years of leadership in the communications infrastructure industry COM DEV International Ltd. is the largest Canadian-owned designer, manufacturer and distributor of space and ground-based wireless products and subsystems. COM DEV International Ltd. designs and manufactures sophisticated wireless products for satellite payloads, a wide array of microwave and electronic products and multimedia broadband satellite systems.

About EMS Technologies

With a unique range of technologies developed from years of experience, EMS Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless and satellite communications solutions, with a growing emphasis on broadband applications focussing on the needs of broadband and mobile-information users.

Suzanne Parent

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