The manufacturing and launching work of Bangladesh’s first satellite “Bangabandhu-I” is going to start in December 16 this year, the Victory Day of the country, after completion of all the procedures,BSS reports.
To this end, the government has chosen French firm “Thales Alenia” after scrutinizing its financial and technical proposals. “Our first satellite ‘Bangabandhu-I’ will be launched into the space on December 16, 2017,” said State Minister for Posts and Telecommunication Tarana Halim.
“The manufacturing and other necessary works are going to start in December 16 next. Thales is entrusted with manufacturing, launching and maintaining the satellite for communication and broadcast service,” added Tarana.
Ministry officials said, as per the recommendation of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the government has selected Thales Alenia for handling the satellite.
Four companies — Great Wall Industries Corporation of China, Thales Alenia of France, Orbital ATK of the United States, and MDA Corporation of Canada – had participated in the international tender called by the BTRC.
Officials said MDA Corporation became the lowest bidder with US$ 22 crore while Thales Alenia proposed US$ 24.80 crore. But, the telecom regulator selected Thales Alenia which came up much better than MDA Corporation in terms of technical specifications.
Officials familiar with the launching process said a satellite is sent into space on top of a rocket. Aimed at averting any kind of risk, Bangladesh has decided to keep ready a spare rocket for the launch that may increase the cost slightly.
Bangladesh will be the 54th 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 this year.
The Bangabandhu satellite will have 40 transponders, which would be able to serve SAARC countries, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as countries such as Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on September 16, 2014, approved the “Bangabandhu Satellite Launching project” involving Taka 2967.95 crore.
Under the project, two earth stations would be set up at Joydevpur in Gazipur and Betbunia in Rangamati apart from a satellite. Bangladesh spends around US$ 14 million annually on satellite rents for running television channels, telephones and radio connectivity.
Once launched, the satellite would save around Taka 110 to Taka 120 crore annually in foreign currency as broadcasting expenditure.