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
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
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.