Telesat's first two Low-Earth-Orbit satellites to launch later this year will be in a high-throughput, non geosynchronous constellation, due to the need for faster broadband services in the future, which drove the decision to favor a closer orbit.
Dan Goldberg, president and CEO of Telesat said Telesat’s two LEO satellites, one from SSL and one from Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, are launching this year on rockets shared with a multiple number of other small satellites. He said Telesat has already placed ground infrastructure for the satellites at one of its teleports in Canada, and has mostly existing customers that want to participate in testing the spacecraft.
Telesat's other two GEO-HTS satellites, Telstar-18 Vantage and Telstar-19 Vantage by Space Systems Loral are currently under construction and will launch in the second quarter of 2018. Telstar-18 Vantage is being co-financed by Hong Kong-based APT Satellite, which is then going to use the capacity on the satellite in exchange for the funding.
Telstar-18 Vantage satellite targets the Asia Pacific; Telstar 19 Vantage covers the Americas, and they will launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.