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Optus has confirmed that it plans to steal a march on the NBN’s satellite service plans by launching a 6-megabits per second service on its existing D1 satellite, pictured.

The Optus Premium Satellite service is to be launched over the next few weeks, Optus executives have said,.

It will use a Gilat SkyEdge II platform, with DVB-S2 technology, augmented by HTTP acceleration and pre-fetching of Web-pages to help ensure comparable service to ADSL across outback Australia.
But with prices likely to run to $200 a month for the 6Mbps service, it’s being aimed at business users – especially mining and construction companies – rather than outback communities and private users.
“We’ve identified that there’s a lot of high-bandwidth users out there,” Optus satellite marketing director Nick Leake told Communications Day, which broke the story. “It will take time to implement the proposed NBN solution; we’re providing a solution that offers customers an option to get higher speeds now if they want it.”
D1 is a Ku-band satellite launched in 2006 and principally used by TV networks. NBNCo has proposed launching two new Ka-band satellites to give complete coverage to up to 200,000 users across outback Australia.
Ka Band employs “spot beams” rather than broadcasting over an entire continent, and is said to be a more efficient use of available bandwidth, resulting in lower monthly service fees.
Optus says it’s looking to get Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) approval for its system. The ABG offers government subsidies of up to $2750 for ISPs to provide a metropolitan-standard Internet service to remote areas that can’t connect to ADSL or 3G.
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