OmniGlobe Networks Inc. of Montreal announced Wednesday it plans to buy, launch and operate a Ka-Band satellite in 2013. OmniGlobe’s services include high-speed networking services in remote and rural areas.
It sells very smaller aperture terminal (VSAT) equipment plus managed voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services using satellite networks.
With CANUK-1, the mid-sized satellite it plans to launch in the third quarter of 2013, OmniGlobe plans to offer broadband Internet, virtual private networking (VPN), video conferencing and VoIP.
“The plan is for the satellite to provide full coverage over Canada,” said Elsa Lebey, OmniGlobe’s marketing manager. Services would include broadband and cellular coverage to remote communities where service is not currently available.
Canadian satellite companies include Ottawa-based Telesat, which operates 12 satellites, including the Nimiq 5, launched last year to provide direct-to-home television service in Canada and the U.S.
Telesat also operates the Anik F2, which was launched in 2004 and has 38 Ka band transponders. Until October, 2007, Telesat was owned by Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. It is now privately held, with most shares owned by Loral Space and Communications Inc. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
OmniGlobe said it plans to launch its own satellite to address what it calls a lack of availability of Ka-band connectivity over Canada. It has hired a satellite program director, Judy Harte, who previously worked for European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV's Astrium unit. Hart also worked for Richmond, B.C.-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., which makes hardware and provides services for space missions such as the Radardsat 2 imaging satellite.
Harte was not available to comment Wednesday and referred questions to Lebey.
Lebey said OmniGlobe would not disclose the cost of the satellite project and has yet to choose either a manufacturer or space agency to launch the vehicle.
She added OmniGlobe is in “advance discussions” and “extensive consultations with a number of potential suppliers.”
“We are currently analyzing our options,” Lebey said. “We want to be the lead on the design.”
OmniGlobe’s target markets include forestry, mining, oil and gas.
Other OmniGlobe projects include wireless infrastructure for Utilities Kingston and wireless Internet service to the township of North Frontenac in eastern Ontario.