January 14, 2008

Space Systems/Loral awarded contract to build ViaSat-I, designed to be the world's highest capacity broadband satellite.

On January 11, Willkie client Loral Space & Communications Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Space Systems/Loral, was selected to manufacture a high capacity broadband satellite for U.S.-based equipment provider ViaSat Inc.   ViaSat-1 is expected to be the world's highest capacity broadband satellite.  Loral and its affiliate, Telesat Canada will participate in the transaction as well, under a complex series of arrangements that will provide the project with a  desirable new orbital location and a new payload specially designed to provide broadbeam coverage for Canadian subscribers.   Willkie advised Loral Space & Communications, Space Systems/Loral and Telesat Canada. 

As reported in the January 8 edition of the Wall Street Journal, the deal was made in connection with ViaSat’s partnership agreement with French satellite operator Eutelsat SA to make Internet access via satellite more competitive in the United States.  The spacecraft, designed with 10 times the bandwidth of its predecessors, is scheduled for launch in 2011, and would double North America's overall satellite internet capacity.  Longtime client Loral is a world-class leader in the design and manufacture of satellites and satellite systems for commercial and government applications including direct-to-home television, broadband communications, wireless telephony, weather monitoring and air traffic management, and owns a non-controlling majority interest in Telesat Canada,  one of the world's leading providers of satellite services.

The deal was handled by partners Bruce Kraus and William Hiller and associates Andrew Markus and Jeni Pepper.


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