PARIS — It took three years and is still not fully financed, but Telesat finally pulled the trigger on its $5-billion LEO network, now named Lightspeed, announcing an agreement with satellite builder Thales Alenia Space to start work on a 298-satellite contract.

Thales will begin early work to meet an aggressive schedule calling for the first launches in the first half of 2023, with global service by late 2024.

The schedule is all the more aggressive given that a full contract with Thales Alenia . . .

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