Sky New Zealand announced in July 2020 that it had renewed its partnership with telecommunications operator Optus to deliver a new software-defined satellite to replace the existing D-series satellite.
The new satellite was originally expected to be ready for service in late 2023. Optus has now confirmed that, based on the advice from the satellite’s manufacturer, various factors (including Covid and manufacturing and supply chain issues) have delayed the planned ready for service date of the satellite until late 2025.
Sky and Optus say they are working closely to ensure the ongoing security of supply for Sky’s satellite requirements in its core Sky Box business. A number of options are being considered, including, if required, using another satellite already in an orbital location that supports ongoing delivery of satellite coverage to the Sky platform.
Sky Chief Executive Sophie Moloney said: “We remain excited about the benefits of the new software-defined satellite, especially as we experience weather events that the new satellite can better help mitigate against. And, of course, we understand how important it is to ensure coverage and access to Sky and the free-to-air channels we carry (including Prime) to all of New Zealand. Based on the information shared and assurances by our partner Optus to date, we are confident of the mitigation options to ensure our continued delivery of the key moments that matter most to our Sky customers.”
Sky expects to update the market on further developments in due course.