RealTime IT News

Telstra Teams With SkyBridge

Satellite company SkyBridge LP, which is owned by French Internet player Alcatel SA, Wednesday inked an agreement with government-owned Australian telecom Telstra to deliver broadband satellite services to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia by 2002.

The agreement gives Telstra the option to take equity in the venture and to become the service provider for the region.

SkyBridge will provide the service through its network of 80 Low Earth Orbiting satellites.

The deal is expected to close by the third quarter.

"Welcoming Telstra as a regional service provider of SkyBridge in Asia Pacific will be a major step forward," said Pascale Sourisse, SkyBridge's president and CEO. "Telstra is very well positioned to provide SkyBridge services in this region in light of its broadband business strategy and dynamism in developing solutions for high-speed access to the Internet."

SkyBridge could bring broadband communications to remote areas of Australia, said Lindsay Yelland, Telstra Business Solutions' group managing director.

SkyBridge LP partners include Loral Space & Communication and EMS Technologies of the United States; COM DEV of Canada; Mitsubishi Electric, Sharp and Toshiba of Japan, SRIW of Belgium; CNES and SNECMA of France.