NewSat is the largest independent satellite communications provider in Australia since 2011. Its satellites, VSAT’s and teleports provide coverage to 75% of the earth’s surface. NewSat CEO Adrian Ballintine and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen founded the company in 1987. NewSat started as a multimedia business. It survived the dotcom crash to evolve into a fully-fledged satellite communications company. Most NewSat customers are located in Australia, the Middle East and Africa.
NewSat’s Jabiru fleet of commercial Ku- and Ka-band satellites will provide high-powered, flexible capacity over South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The Jabiru-1 Ka-band satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2016.
Jabiru-2 will deliver enhanced coverage over Australia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. NewSat has rights to eight premium orbital slots and its fleet of next generation geostationary satellites will lead Australia’s space quest.
Mid February 2014 NewSat had secured funding (around US$400 million) that allowed to proceed with construction of the Jabiru-1 satellite, and had paid Lockheed Martin close to US$170 million, out of a expected total cost of US$268 million. Total project cost was ecpected to be US$600 (AU$664) million, including US$116 million for the rocket to put the satellite in orbit in the second half of 2015. At that time, NewSat confirmed that 18% capacity of the satellite had already been sold, at an estimated value of AU$644 million.
In early August 2014, NewSat got a conditional waiver over alleged breaches of financial facilities, to continue with the Jabiru-1 project. At that time, it was expected that the satellite would be assembled in late 2014 and tested in 2015. In late January 2015, Lockheed Martin, the Jabiru-1 satellite builder, issued NewSat a termination notice due to a defaulted payment of US$21 million (A$26.5 million); giving a period of up to 90 days to make payments without further impact.
NewSat owns and operates two Asia Pacific based teleports in Perth (Western Australia) and Adelaide (South Australia) that provide a full range of C- and Ku-band services and satellite connectivity from Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, across the Indian Ocean extending into Europe and across the Pacific Ocean, reaching into the West Coast of the USA.
Both teleports were Top 3 Finalists in the World Teleport Association’s 2012 “Awards for Excellence” and made the 2014, 2013 and 2012 “Top Operator Rankings”.