Satellite broadband player Telesat taps Ciena for terrestrial backhaul

Canadian satellite broadband company Telesat turned to Ciena for help designing and equipping its terrestrial backhaul network, as it works toward the launch of global service under its Lightspeed brand in early 2024.

Ciena is set to provide Telesat with a range of hardware, software and services, with the latter including network design, implementation and testing. It will supply routing and switching capabilities via its Ciena 3926 and 5170 platforms and software control and automation functions through its Manage, Control and Plan domain controller.

All told, Ciena’s gear and services will help provide connectivity to as many as 50 terrestrial ground stations as well as network function virtualization and edge computing technology to support customer requirements.

Aneesh Dalvi, Telesat’s director for Landing Stations and User Terminals, said the vendor’s technology “will ensure flexible, reliable connectivity between our Earth station antennas and Points of Presence throughout the world.” He added “The seamless integration of on-ground data networks with our advanced Telesat Lightspeed satellites will ensure unmatched speed and performance for our global enterprise and government customers.”

RELATED: SpaceX’s Starlink kickstarts a satellite broadband market that could disrupt telecom — Menon

Telesat is one of several satellite service providers working to light up low-Earth orbit broadband in the near future. The company expects to begin offering service worldwide in 2024, with an initial constellation of 298 satellites. In February, Telesat said it expected to launch its first satellites in 2023, with beta testing to begin soon after.

As of June 30, Telesat said it had a contracted backlog for future services totaling approximately C$2.4 billion. In August, Telesat secured a C$1.44 billion investment from the Canadian government, increasing its funding total to C$4 billion.