Ciel Satellite Communications Inc. has been awarded the rights to the 129 degrees west orbital slot over a competing bid by BCE Inc.-owned Telesat Canada. The decision, released on September 24, should be welcome news to the satellite services industry as it introduces facilities-based competition in the Canadian satellite services market. For more than 30 years, Telesat was the sole commercial satellite provider in Canada, but it will now be up against Ciel, an Ottawa-based company that is owned by Barrett Corp., Borealis Infrastructure Corp. SES Americom and Smyth Satellite Holdings. Ciel plans to begin offering service in 2009.
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