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New developments in space - Optus game-changer defines the future of satellite

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In 2023, we will launch the Asia-Pacific’s first OneSat software-defined satellite, named OPTUS 11, that will see Optus shape a new future for satellite customers in this region.

OPTUS 11 is a complete game-changer for Australia and New Zealand markets as it will be fully configurable in space, meaning its location, coverage, bandwidth and capacity can be changed in orbit as customer demands evolve. This level of flexibility will have a significant impact for our customers in a world where technology is moving at such a rapid pace and market demand is constantly evolving.

How OPTUS 11 will be a game-changer

Traditional satellites cannot be altered after launch so customers need to forecast expected usage and market requirements more than 10 years in advance, which is no easy feat.

The exciting thing about OPTUS 11 is that it has the capability to support our existing video broadcasting business while simultaneously moving Optus into a Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) broadband business.

The beam forming and shaping capability of OPTUS 11 will allow Optus and our customers to have the flexibility to adapt capacity and services over time, in space and with ease.

Unlike traditional satellites that take spectrum and distribute it to Earth in very wide beams, software-defined VHTS satellites use targeted, small beams that enable frequency to be used, and reused, for more capacity, power and speed no matter where you are - on land, in the air or at sea.

Cybersecurity in a software-defined satellite

Cybersecurity is critical to Optus and it’s an important element of the new satellite. We see it as a standard requirement for any network in this day and age.

As a leading telco, Optus has proficient cybersecurity processes and implementations in place. In fact, you could say that Optus has more security in place than most other satellite operators since we also operate significant mobile and fixed networks for over 10 million end users daily.

Our ground system TT&C software and applications all come with tight secure cybersecurity packages to ensure continued, safe operations and this new satellite will have the same, high level of cybersecurity.

Capacity and usage available in OPTUS 11

Sky New Zealand, which has entered into a revised agreement with Optus, will be the cornerstone customer leveraging OPTUS 11.  At the time of launch, Sky New Zealand will leverage the capacity over New Zealand for their broadcast business but have the capability over time to utilise the VHTS IP broadband capacity as their needs develop.

Our focus won’t, however, only be set to broadcast. Optus has an existing customer base in mobility services; in corporate and enterprise, mining, oil and gas, finance, insurance, agriculture, national and state government, including emergency services and large government departments, and services in Antarctica.

This new satellite will be available to all our customers to leverage across many verticals, and available to prospective businesses in the market who want to deliver an exceptional customer experience through the latest satellite technology.

A leader in shaping the future

At Optus, we have been a part of the Australian Space industry since Optus acquired AUSSAT in 1992 with AUSSAT itself being originally formed in 1981. We’ve successfully launched 10 satellites, with 5 currently in operation, and now OPTUS 11 is planned for launch in 2023.

We know that investing in next-generation satellites will provide significant step changes in capacity and flexible coverage solutions for the evolving market.

In short, our continued advancement in space technology and our flexible satellite approach underlines the fact that we are opening opportunities for further development and growth across the region. We are shaping the future of the space and satellite industry and we are taking our customers on this journey with us.

If you would like to discuss how OPTUS 11 can benefit your business, get in touch today.