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China Satcom’s LEO, HTS projects driven by desire not to fall behind foreign counterparts

11 Jul 2018, 22:15 UTC
China Satcom’s LEO, HTS projects driven by desire not to fall behind foreign counterparts
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JAKARTA, Indonesia — China’s state-owned fleet operator is making forward-leaning investments in high-throughput satellites and a low-Earth-orbit constellation without worrying, at least initially, about whether these projects are backed by sound business plans.
More important to China Satcom is making sure it has the technologies needed to stay at the forefront of satellite communications.
If other nations and companies are going to build large high-throughput satellites (HTS) and constellations of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, so will China, according to Yao Fahai, vice president of China Satcom, a state-owned company that operates a fleet of 10 geostationary satellites primarily serving customers in China and neighboring countries.
Fahai shared his mindset at the APSAT 2018 conference here, while also announcing China Satcom’s desire to follow its first HTS satellite, launched last year, with two more in the near future.
“We may order two more bigger HTS satellites,” he said during a July 3 panel discussion. “We are hoping we could launch in 2021, or 2022, [with] the first to be launched in 2021. Maybe we could have 150 [gigabits per second]. The second one maybe around 200 Gbps. We hope we could catch up with the new trend.”
China’s HTS gambit

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