Our History

50 years of creating connections

As one of the largest satellite operators in the world, Telesat’s innovations have been central to the establishment and growth of satellite communications. This timeline highlights key milestones during our 50 years of creating connections.

low angle shot of Canada's parliament building
1969
Canadian Parliament establishes Telesat as a commercial company with a mandate to provide satellite communications services to Canada.
1969
Satellite during test phase in manufacturer's test facility
1972
Telesat launched Anik A1, the world’s first commercial domestic communications satellite in geostationary orbit.
1972
Artist rendering of satellite above Earth
1978
Telesat launched the first commercial Ku-band satellite on which was offered the first direct-to-home (DTH) television service, laying the groundwork for the global DTH industry.
1978
Artist rendering of two LEO satellites orbiting Earth
1981
Telesat co-located two satellites in a single orbital slot for the first time, now a widely used industry practice.
1981
Icons float above Earth portraying connectivity of email, SMS, internet
1996
Telesat was the first to provide Internet access to ISPs over satellite.
1996
Artist rendering of satellite and spot beams cascading onto Earth below
2004
Telesat launched Anik F2, the first satellite to provide consumer Ka-band broadband services.
2004
Artist rendering of Telstar 14R above Earth
2009
Telesat launched Telstar 11N, the first satellite to provide Ku-band coverage of the Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic Circle to the Equator.
2009
Image of rocket launch on launch pad with fire building just before take off
2013
Telesat launched Anik G1, the first commercial satellite with substantial X-band coverage of the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii to service the Canadian government and its allies.
2013
Artist rendering of Telstar 12 VANTAGE over star background
2015
Telesat launched Telstar 12 VANTAGE, the first of our high throughput satellites (HTS) to combine HTS and broad beams to maximize throughput, efficiency and flexibility.
2015
Artist rendering of Telesat LEO Phase 1 satellite above Earth
2018
Telesat launches its Phase 1 LEO satellite – the start of a new broadband constellation to transform global communications.
2018
stylized image of linking data points above the earth
2019
Telesat conducts the world’s first 5G backhaul demo over LEO satellite in partnership with Vodafone and the University of Surrey.
2019
Woman and man stand if front of Anik A1 satellite scale model with sign that reads 50 years creating connections Telesat
2019
Telesat celebrates the achievements that have shaped the global satellite communications industry for 50 years.
2019