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Bangabandhu Satellite to create enormous opportunities

Bangabandhu Satellite to create enormous opportunities

DHAKA: Bangabandhu-1 Satellite is to establish Bangladesh’s own stake on the space opening up enormous opportunities providing three types of advantages involving fields of field of information and communication technology (ICT) and broadcasting industry alongside brightening Bangladesh image.

Experts and officials said the country’s first geostationary communication satellite will firstly help expansion of internet and telecommunication services in remote and rugged areas which still remained beyond the coverage.

The satellite would expand the country’s capacity in weather forecasting and monitoring to face natural disasters from its location at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, covering as well all the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

In the event of unexpected disasters Bangladesh’s existing telecommunication systems may collapse when satellite network can play an important role in ensuring uninterrupted telecommunication services throughout the country.

Thirdly Bangladesh could earn a huge foreign currency by selling satellite’s transponder to other countries while it now needs to spend a huge amount of money for the service from others satellite specially for the broadcasting industry.

The experts said, moreover, Bangabandhu-I would appear as a crucial tool in ensuring further the national security.

The launching of the satellite earned Bangladesh the status of being a member of the satellite owning nations as the 57th country.

Currently over 30 Satellite TV channels are in operation in Bangladesh using rented satellite services from Singapore and other countries that cost about $14 million annually.

Once launched, the Bangabandhu-I satellite will save the foreign currency expenditure while the channels huge viewership particularly in the Middle East countries are expected to be its main commercial user.

On the other hand, Bangladesh could earn foreign currency by renting the Bangabandhu-1 transponders to other countries while officials said out of its 40 transponders, 20 were kept for rent.

Officials said the newly formed Bangabandhu Satellite Communication Company Limited (BSCCL) already began negotiations with Indonesia and the Philippines for renting out the transponders.

Internet bandwidth is another product of Bangabandhu-I while BTRC said out of the satellite’s 40 transponders having a total 1,600 MHz frequency while 26 of them in KU band and 14 in C-band.

The Bangladeshi satellite TV stations earlier feared the Bangabandhu-1’s location might create some difficulties for their transmission but regulatory BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told BSS they would collaborate with other satellites to solve issue easily.

Currently, all private TV channels in Bangladesh use Apstar-7 satellite, which is at 76.5 degrees east. Only government-owned BTV uses Asiasat-7, another satellite, which is at 105.5 degrees east.

The Direct-to-Home (DTH) as alternative of cable television service providers will be another major consumer of the satellite.

DTH services always provide faster access to worldwide television entertainment and now they will have an easier and faster access to global TV entertainments through Bangabandhu-1.

The satellite will make video distribution easier as well enabling broadcasters to effortlessly distribute their content to intermediaries like cable TV network operators or re-broadcasters like DTH operators.

The satellite will have VSAT private networks consisting of voice, data, video and internet services to the banks, corporate offices etc.

Bangabandhu-I satellite will also offer e-learning, Tele-medicine, Family Planning, Farming etc while voice service to cellular backhaul, disaster recovery etc and data service for internet, SCADA, SOHO and business-to- business (VSAT).

In November 2015, the BTRC signed a $248-million deal with French company Thales Alenia Space to manufacture and launch the country’s first satellite. Falcon 9, one of the SpaceX’s finest launch vehicles will be used for the Bangabandhu Satellite-I.

Bangladesh will be the 57th country when the satellite would be launched into the orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude which (slot) was bought from Russian satellite company “Intersputnik” for US$ 28 million in January 2015.

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