Once Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite – Bangabandhu-1 – is well set and operational, the country can expect getting better data and information in the areas of weather forecast, telemedicine, e-learning, e-researches, video conferencing, defence and disaster management system. Besides, this will open up lot of other possibilities.
This satellite will bring enormous development and uninterrupted telecommunication system in the country especially in television, telephone and internet services which Bangladesh usually purchase from overseas.
At present Bangladesh is spending annually more than $14 million on satellite rent to ensure connectivity.Bangabandhu-1 will make the country not only self-contained but also bring foreign currency by selling broadcasting service to other countries.
Neighboring India and Pakistan have their own satellites while Sri Lanka is also in the queue. Once Bangabandhu-1 will be in service, Bangladesh will begin renting services to Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and many others with an estimated value of over $50 million per year, BTRC insides said.
Bangabandhu-1, which is scheduled to be sent into orbit on April 24, will be ready for use in three months after the launch. On the third day of the launch, controllers start calibrating instruments to commission the satellite, which gets operational in three to four months’ time, according to European Space Agency (ESA).
On March 28, the 3.5-metric ton communications satellite left the manufacturing plant of Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France for Cape Carnival Launch Pad in Florida, USA for testing and launce.
AmericaSpace, a daily US news provider in its tweet massage said, “Confirmed by Thales Alenia Space, Bangabandhu-1 is manifested to launch on the first 'Block-5' Falcon 9 rocket, NET April 24.”
However, the launch schedule is yet to confirm by the BTRC as Bangabandhu-1 project director Md Mesbahuzzaman on Wednesday said, “Within 3/4 days the authority will let us know the satellite launching schedule.”
Bangladesh will be the 57th country when Bangabandhu-1 would be launched into the orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude which (slot) was bought from Russian satellite company ‘Intersputnik’ for US$ 28 million in January 2015.
The satellite will need three weeks to reach its exact position in space, said officials concerned.
The major applications of the spacecraft include direct to home (DTH) service, very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications, backhaul and trunking, network restoration, and disaster preparedness and relief.
The primary service area of the satellite will be Bangladesh and neighbouring countries, while its secondary service areas will include South East Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, as well as East Africa.
This satellite will give Bangladesh a long term service to a large scalability, global availability, reliability, versatility and super performance.
Some sectors like telemedicine, e-learning, e-researches, video conferencing, defence, disaster management system and weather forecast facilities will be improved for this satellite.
The Bangabandhu-1 with a capacity of 1,600 megahertz will have 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders and a predicted life span of 15 years. Half of the capacity will be reserved for the country while the rest will be rented out, said sources at the satellite project.
On October 21, 2015, the Cabinet Purchase Committee approved the project to buy the satellite system. Later, BTRC signed a deal involving Tk 2,000 crore with Thales Alenia Space to construct the first-ever satellite project.
On September 9, 2016, an agreement of 157 million Euro (equivalent to Tk 1,400 crore) with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) was signed for financing the project.