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Telesat’s Proposal in the Government of Canada’s Consultation on the Reallocation of 3800 MHz Spectrum Is the Best and Fastest Path to Deliver Affordable, Advanced 5G and Broadband Connectivity to All Canadians

OTTAWA, CANADA – September 1, 2020 – Telesat, a leading global Canadian satellite operator, welcomes Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) inclusion of Telesat’s innovative proposal to expeditiously reallocate the highly desirable 3800 MHz, or “C-band,” mid-band spectrum from fixed satellite use to 5G services in their recently released consultation on the future of that band.  

Telesat’s proposal is the only plan that ensures that sufficient mid-band spectrum is made available on an expedited basis to Canadian wireless operators, providing strong support to achieving the Government’s objective of improved wireless affordability. In addition, Telesat’s proposal fast-tracks affordable, high throughput broadband connectivity to rural and remote Canadian communities and places Canada at the forefront of the fast-growing space industry by supporting the deployment of Telesat’s advanced, state-of-the-art Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, Telesat LEO.

Telesat, as the largest user of 3800 MHz, and the only satellite operator licensed to use this spectrum in Canada, is proposing to clear, on an expedited basis and in two phases, 400 MHz – or 80% – of the mid-band spectrum so that it can be used for 5G services.  In doing so, Telesat will ensure that the vital, mission-critical satellite services that must be relocated to clear the 3800 MHz band for 5G use will be transitioned to other satellite facilities at no cost and without interruption to the current users. 

“Telesat’s proposal to clear 3800 MHz spectrum is the only actionable path to rapidly deploy true 5G service in Canada and to connect rural and remote Canadian communities with fast, affordable broadband, something we can achieve with the state-of-the-art Telesat LEO satellite constellation,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “In this regard, Telesat’s proposal will bring tremendous economic benefits and job creation to Canada through 5G and the fast-growing, export-driven New Space economy at a time when affordable, universal broadband connectivity and economic growth have never been more important. We welcome industry comments on our proposal and the opportunity to demonstrate how our proposed approach is in the best interests of all Canadians.”

Telesat launched services on 3800 MHz spectrum nearly 50 years ago and is today using the full 500 MHz of mid-band spectrum to provide hundreds of thousands of Canadians with broadcast video content and critical lifeline services. These services include telephone, wireless LTE, broadband connectivity, including remote schools and health centres, and public safety and 911 capabilities for satellite-dependent communities serving 50,000 Indigenous Canadians. Telesat also uses the 3800 MHz spectrum to deliver mission-critical services to a range of federal departments, including Indigenous and Northern Affairs, National Defence, Nav Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, the Coast Guard, the RCMP and Natural Resources Canada.

Goldberg added, “Clearing 3800 MHz spectrum is a highly costly and technically challenging endeavor. Our proposal is the only way to clear this spectrum for 5G and ensure that all current satellite users’ critical services remain connected during and after the clearing process. We look forward to working with the current users of C-band, the Canadian wireless providers, and other interested parties in ensuring that our proposal is implemented in a manner that supports the interests of current users while meeting the expedited introduction of affordable 5G in Canada.”

ISED’s consultation can be reviewed$file/SLPB-002-20-2020-08EN.pdf, and industry is invited to submit comments until October 26, 2020.

About Telesat

Backed by a legacy of engineering excellence, reliability and industry-leading customer service, Telesat has grown to be one of the largest and most successful global satellite operators. Telesat works collaboratively with its customers to deliver critical connectivity solutions that tackle the world’s most complex communications challenges, providing powerful advantages that improve their operations and drive growth. Telesat LEO, our Low Earth Orbit network will revolutionize global broadband connectivity by delivering a combination of high capacity, security, resiliency and affordability with ultra-low latency and fiber-like speeds.

Privately held and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices and facilities around the world, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL). For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Lynette Simmons
+1 613 748 8729

Forward-Looking Statements Safe Harbor

This news release contains statements that are not based on historical fact and are ”forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words “will”, “can”, “fast-growing”, and “proposal”, or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Detailed information about some of the known risks and uncertainties is included in the “Risk Factors” sections of Telesat Canada’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and in Telesat Canada’s Quarterly Report on Form 6-K for the quarters ending March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, all of which can be obtained from the SEC website. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance, the impact of  COVID-19  on Telesat’s business and the economic environment, the ability to successfully deploy an advanced global LEO satellite constellation, the availability of government and/or other funding for the LEO satellite constellation, the receipt of proceeds in relation to the re-allocation of C-band spectrum, volatility in exchange rates, the ability to expand our existing satellite utilization and risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects Telesat’s beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, Telesat disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.

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