Optus has announced a partnership with US-based satellite company Laser Light.
Laser Light is planning a constellation, dubbed HALO, of eight to 12 medium Earth orbit satellites as the space-based component of an optical satellite network.
Optical satellites transmit and receive data using light as opposed to radio frequencies. Laser Light says that it will be the first laser-based commercial satellite system.
According to the company its 'Spacecable’ system will have total capacity of over 6 terabits per second and deliver 200Gpbs speeds to its customers.
Laser Light’s plan is to be a global wholesale provider for telcos, with end users comprising telcos, enterprises and governments. The company plans to launch satellites in 2017 and offer commercial services in 2018.
Laser Light says it will deal with inclement weather, which could potentially block light-based transmissions, through dynamic rerouting and network redundancy.
Under the agreement outlined today, Optus will be the preferred supplier and local distributor in Australia of Laser Light’s service. Laser Light will use Optus’ ground stations and fibre network for its service.
“Satellite technology will always have an important role to play in delivering communications to a country the size and breadth of Australia,” Optus’ satellite chief Paul Sheridan said in a statement.
“This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in and offers a new and innovative solution which will provide complementary services and enable Optus to meet growing demand for high bandwidth dependent applications and services throughout Australia and beyond.”
In 2013 Optus' satellite business was subject to a review by its parent company Singtel. Based on the review, SingTel committed itself to "growing and investing in the satellite business".