Monday, January 21, 2019

Bangladesh satellite will save and earn foreign currency: State Minister Palak

  • News Desk
    Published: 2018-05-10 17:08:35 BdST

Sate Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak

Bangabandhu-1, the first satellite of Bangladesh scheduled to be launched on May 11, is expected to save as well as earn foreign currency, said Sate Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

In a statement on Thursday, Palak said Bangabandhu-1 is going to reduce Bangladeshi TV channels’ dependence on satellites owned by foreign nations for their broadcasting services and therefore, save valuable foreign currency. At present, Bangladesh spends Tk 14 million a year on renting foreign satellites.

Also, it will enable Bangladesh to provide services to foreign channels after meeting the demand at home and earn foreign currency, he said adding the government plans to dedicate half of the 40 transponders of the satellite to the local TV channels while remaining half will be deployed to serve the channels from other countries.

The satellite is also expected to work as an alternative option for both data and telecommunication services, especially during emergency and natural disaster, according to the statement.

The satellite will be launched into orbit from the historical launch complex 39-A in Kennedy Space Centre; the one that was used to launch Apollo 11 to its mission to the Moon.

It has been built in Thales Alenia Space Facilities in France and was taken to Cape Canaveral launch pad in a special cargo plane after all the tests and reviews are completed.

The satellite was originally scheduled for launched on Dec 16 but the devastation from Hurricane Irma last year delayed all the scheduled launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Describing Bangabandhu-1 as an “ambitious yet timely initiative” of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as part of her government’s vision to build ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021, Palak hoped it will be the first in a series of satellites to be launched by Bangladesh.