Speedcast ousts Telstra with $4 million satellite deal in Australian Antarctic

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Speedcast ousts Telstra with $4 million satellite deal in Australian Antarctic
Mawson station, Antarctica

Sydney-based Speedcast has replaced Telstra as the provider of satellite communications for the Department of the Environment and Energy’s Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

Speedcast is an Australia-based multinational communications and IT services provider. Telstra had been providing satellite services to the division since December 2006.

An AAD spokesperson cited cost efficiency, effectivity and upgraded bandwidths as its reason for selecting Speedcast, which won a “very competitive” open tender process.

According to AusTender, the contract is valued at $4.36 million, and runs from December 2017 to September 2020.

The satellite communications will help connect AAD’s head office in Tasmania to all of its Antarctic and subantarctic stations — Davis, Casey, Macquarie Island, Mawson and Wilkins Aerodrome — and Speedcast will also provide equipment maintenance support and capability development for the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions Satellite (ANARESAT).

ANARESAT is a communication solution that has been used by the Australian Antarctic Division since 1987 to communicate between its remote sites, which includes a 7.3 metre dish antenna and a protective dome.

It was installed at the Davis, Mawson, Casey and Macquarie Island stations between 1987 to 1988.

As part of the contract, there will also be an ongoing review and analysis of the Australian Antarctic Division’s satellite telecommunications business processes.

In March last year, Speedcast was awarded a contract to restore wireless and 4G network services to Christmas Island, after incumbent ISP Christmas Island Internet Administration (CiiA) ceased services due to a dispute with NBN Co and its Sky Muster geostationary communications satellite service.

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