Language selection


Approval in principle — Telesat Canada (COMMSTELLATION)

235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8

Our File: 3150-1 (557203 AT)

Mr. John Forsey
Director, Corporate Development
Telesat Canada
1601 Telesat Court
Ottawa, Ontario K1B 5P4

Dear Mr. Forsey:

This is in reference to Telesat Canada’s (Telesat) application of February 2, 2015, for the use of radio spectrum by the LEOVantage constellation in a non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) in the fixed-satellite service. The application is associated with the COMMSTELLATION filing (CR/C 3313 as published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on April 30, 2013, and CR/C 3313 MOD-2 as received by the ITU on March 6, 2015).

Telesat’s application has met all of the requirements outlined in Client Procedures Circular (CPC) 2-6-02 - Licensing of Space Stations. We are therefore pleased to grant Telesat an approval in principle to develop and operate its LEOVantage satellite constellation, using the radio spectrum as outlined in the table below.

Frequency Bands
Earth-to-space space-to-Earth
27.5 – 28.35 GHz 17.8 – 18.3 GHz
28.35 – 28.6 GHz 18.3 – 18.8 GHz
28.6 – 29.1 GHz 18.8 – 19.3 GHz
29.5 – 30 GHz 19.7 – 20.2 GHz

Industry Canada has also approved Telesat’s application of January 30, 2015, associated with the CANPOL-2 ITU filing (CR/C 3474 MOD-1 as received by the ITU on January 6, 2015). Telesat has acknowledged that it will deploy a single LEOVantage system. Consequently, Telesat will not be permitted to notify both the COMMSTELLATION filing and the CANPOL-2 MOD-1filing to the ITU, and must surrender one of the approvals for LEOVantage no later than May 31, 2018.

This approval and any licence issued pursuant to it are subject to the conditions outlined in Annex A. Telesat must comply, on an ongoing basis, with all conditions of licence set out in Annex A, including implementation milestones. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of an approval in principle and any licence(s) issued pursuant to it. As Telesat is aware, the public benefit condition of licence (condition 14) may be amended to better define how and when it must be met, following a consultation with operators.

In keeping with our commitment to open, fair and transparent licensing processes, this letter will be posted on Industry Canada’s spectrum and telecommunications website. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact me at (343) 291-1969 or Shari Scott at (613) 986-0017.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Lambert
Director, Space Services Operations

Annex A

Conditions of Licence for Telesat Canada to operate a non-geostationary satellite constellation in the fixed-satellite service (LEOVantage – COMMSTELLATION)


1.   Telesat Canada (Telesat) must comply with the eligibility criteria as set out in the Radiocommunication Regulations.

Licence Transferability

2.   This licence may not be transferred or assigned without a full review of the application by the Department and authorization of the Minister.  For clarification, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, “transfer” includes any leasing, sub-leasing or other disposition of the rights and obligations of the licence, and also includes any change that would have a material effect on the ownership or control in fact of the licensee.

Laws, Regulations and Other Obligations

3.   Telesat and its use of the spectrum assigned in this authorization are subject to and must comply with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations, the Canadian Radiocommunication Act, the Canadian Radiocommunication Regulations, and Canada’s spectrum utilization policies pertaining to the licensed radio frequency bands.

Canadian Direction and Control of Spacecraft

4.   Telesat must ensure the satellites are under the direction or control of a Canadian entity as set out in section 3(3)(b) of the Radiocommunication Act and Section 3.2.2 Client Procedure Circular (CPC) 2-6-02 - Licensing of Space Stations.

Service in Canada and Canadian Coverage

5.    This authorization does not include the use of the frequencies to provide service within the Canadian territory.


6.  Telesat must ensure that all implementation milestones and related requirements, as set out in the table below, are met.  Industry Canada does not anticipate granting milestone extensions in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. With respect to Milestone 7, if at least one-third of the constellation has been launched by July 1, 2021, Industry Canada may consider, at its discretion, extending the milestone if requested due to unforeseen delays in satellite delivery and/or satellite launch scheduling.

Milestone Requirement Date
1 Submit ITU Coordination Package January 1, 2016
2a Interim Satellite(s):
Submit a copy of the contract for the construction of the interim satellite(s) that is consistent with:
- the satellite design as approved by the Department;
(CR/C 3313);
- placing the satellite(s) into an authorized orbit; and,
- bringing the spectrum into use by the date established for Milestone 2b.
September 1, 2016
2b Interim Satellite(s):
Submit documentation certifying that the interim satellite(s) have been launched and placed in an authorized orbit.
May 6, 2018
3 Submit a copy of the contract for the construction of the new satellite(s) that is consistent with:
- the satellite design as approved in Telesat’s application;
(CR/C 3313 MOD-2); and,
- placing the satellite(s) into an authorized orbit by the dates established for Milestones 6 and 7.
July 1, 2017
4 Submit evidence, such as invoices or payments demonstrating the purchase of long-lead items, to demonstrate that physical construction of the satellite(s) has commenced. January 1, 2018
5 Submit a copy of the contract to place the satellite(s) into an authorized orbit, consistent with bringing the spectrum into use by the date established for Milestone 6. July 1, 2019
6 Submit documentation certifying that:
- the first satellite(s) have been launched and placed in authorized orbit; and
- in-orbit operation has been tested and found to be consistent with the terms of the authorization.
July 1, 2020
7 Submit documentation certifying that:
- the remaining satellite(s) have been launched and placed in its authorized orbit; and
- in-orbit operation has been tested and found to be consistent with the terms of the authorization.
July 1, 2021

International Coordination

7.   It is the responsibility of Telesat to participate, on an ongoing basis, in coordination activities with a view to protecting its network and fulfilling ITU obligations.  To this end, Telesat must undertake the following: participate, at its own expense, in the coordination of the satellite network with the satellite and terrestrial networks of other countries; provide Industry Canada, in a manner acceptable to the ITU, with the satellite coordination, notification and administrative due diligence information required by the ITU; pay the applicable ITU cost recovery charges for satellite network filings; and ensure that the operation of the satellite complies with any arrangements and agreements undertaken by Canada with respect to the coordination of the satellite.

Domestic Coordination

8.    In order to avoid harmful interference, Telesat will be required to coordinate its satellite system with other potentially affected Canadian satellite and terrestrial services, and the satellite system must be operated in a manner consistent with any arrangements made to facilitate domestic satellite coordination.

9.    In the event that coordination cannot be completed between licensees, the Department may impose the implementation of mitigation techniques, taking into account all relevant factors including, without limitation, the order of domestic authorization.  Telesat must ensure that the operation of its satellite system complies with all measures imposed by the Department.

Information Requirements

10.  At the Department’s request, Telesat must provide all necessary information to a licence applicant to facilitate the coexistence analysis for the Department’s consideration, as part of the applicant’s licence application.  Such information must be provided within a reasonable timeframe.

Earth Station Licensing

11. Any earth stations in Canada communicating with the satellites, except those exempted from the licensing requirement pursuant to the Radiocommunication Act and Radiocommunication Regulations, shall be licensed prior to operation pursuant to Client Procedure Circular, CPC-2-6-01, Procedure for the Submission of Applications to License Fixed Earth Stations and to Approve the Use of Foreign Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) Satellites in Canada.

Satellite Licensing Information

12. Telesat must submit the administrative licensing information, set out in Annex C of  CPC-2-6-02, at least 60 days in advance of the anticipated launch date of the satellites.

Public Benefit

13. Telesat must direct a minimum of 0.5 percent of adjusted gross annual revenues resulting from the operation of the new satellite(s) toward special initiatives aimed at improving connectivity in underserved areas of Canada. These special initiatives will be developed in partnership with Industry Canada.

Orbital Debris Mitigation

14. Telesat, at the end-of-life of the LEOVantage satellites, must implement space debris mitigation measures in accordance with best industry practices so as to minimize adverse effects on the orbital environment.

Reporting Requirements

15. Telesat must immediately report changes to its contact information or to information concerning its satellite operations and/or control facilities to Industry Canada.

16. Telesat must submit an annual report for each year of operation, indicating continued compliance with these conditions.

17.  Telesat must submit a final report of the space debris mitigation measures taken at the end-of-life of the satellites.  This report is to be submitted to the Director, Space Services - Operations, Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch within 60 days of the end-of-life of the satellites.

Payment of Fees

18. Licence fees are paid on an annual basis in advance, and are due by March 31 of each year.

Date modified: