Optus confirms 6Mbps satellite plans

Optus has confirmed it will soon launch a premium satellite service, delivering downstream speeds of up to 6 megabits per second (Mbps) and upstream speeds of 1Mbps.

The new service, dubbed Optus Premium Satellite, will boost the telco’s existing broadband services in remote and regional areas to six times the speed available under current offerings subsidised by the Government’s Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program.

A spokesperson confirmed the telco was looking to launch the offerings “in coming weeks”, which would initially be targeted at small business and enterprises in the mining and construction sector.

Under the ABG, those in remote and rural areas can access broadband services with an access speed of between 256 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 1Mbps downstream.

Most of these plans are resold on Optus’ satellite network, currently spanning five operational satellites. The company claims it is the only Australian telco to own and operate its own satellites, but could soon face competition from the likes of Newsat, which plans to launch its own Ka-band satellite in early 2012.

It also comes ahead of the launch of an interim satellite solution from NBN Co, which has already been approved by the Government and will soon be tendered out to possible suppliers. The NBN Co satellite offering is unlikely to deliver the 12Mbps downstream speeds guaranteed under the National Broadband Network (NBN), but will serve approximately 200,000 premises while the network wholesaler readies the launch of two new, Ka-band satellites.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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