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3 mins read 23 Nov 2021

Optus Teaming up with Arianespace for Next Launch

Optus has selected Arianespace as their launch partner for Optus’ next-generation satellite Optus 11. 

An artist’s impression of an Arianespace rocket. Credit: Arianespace.

Optus is gearing up to roll out the next-generation satellite Optus 11 in 2023 with the help of Arianespace. It was recently announced by Optus that Arianespace was selected to launch the new satellite into orbit to replace the Optus D1 satellite.  

Optus 11 will be the Asia-Pacific region’s first software-defined high throughput satellite (HTS), which will bring expanded coverage, enhanced performance, and increased flexibility to the region’s broadcast and broadband capabilities. 

The satellite will be able to be fully configured in space, unlike a traditional satellite which can only be configured on the ground and cannot be altered after launch. This next-generation technology will allow Optus 11’s location, coverage, bandwidth, and capacity to be changed while the satellite is in orbit to meet customer demands as they evolve. 

Ben White, the Managing Director of, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy at Optus commented on Optus’ teaming up with Arianespace to put Optus 11 into orbit. 

Mr White said, “A successful launch will position Optus to build on our delivery of unparalleled flexibility for our satellite broadcast and data customers across Australia and New Zealand and using satellite backhaul to provide critical support for our mobile network’s contributions to the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).”

The MBSP is a \$380 million investment by the Australian government in telecommunications infrastructure to improve mobile coverage and competition across the country. 

Teaming up for Australia’s Needs

An artist’s impression of a group of Arianespace rockets. Credit: Arianespace.

This isn’t the first time that Optus has teamed up with Arianespace. Almost 30 years ago the companies collaborated to launch the third Optus spacecraft, Optus A3. Arianespace is a French company founded around the same time as Optus as the world’s first commercial launch service provider. The two companies have collaborated several times since their founding in the early 1980s.  

“A vital element to the successful deployment of a new satellite are the partners that we work with. We are delighted to be partnering again with Arianespace, who’s demonstrated over many years the ability to consistently deliver a precise deployment and speed to orbit,” said Mr White.

Arianespace is also looking forward to launching again with Optus.  

“We are delighted and honoured by this renewed mark of confidence from the operator Optus,” said Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace.  “Over the last 21 years, we have carried out all launches for Optus, and Ariane 6 will now continue this long and successful track record.”

Optus 11 is set to be launched from Arianespace’s facilities in French Guiana, South America, in 2023.