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Bangabandhu Satellite’s commercial operation starts Sunday

  • Published at 07:05 am May 19th, 2019
Representational image of Bangabandhu-1 Satellite Collected

The satellite’s operations include DTH and ATM services

Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1 (BS-1) will start its commercial operation on Sunday.

Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL), the assigned entity to manage BS 1, will sign agreements with the local television (TV) channels and other firms to rent transponders of the satellite, reports BSS.

BCSCL Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said commercial journey of BS 1 will start on Sunday, completing successful trial run for couple of months.

“We will sign agreements and hand over documents to the TV channels and others,” said the BCSCL chairman.

TV stations do not need to install any earth station to get the service from BS 1. Installation of earth station requires a big cost, for which the BCSCL is providing connection to the TV channels with its ground station, using optical fiber for transmission.

The BS 1, which was launched to the orbit on May 12 last year, went to the trial transmission on last September 4, through the broadcasting of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship with the state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV). 

Later, it gradually connected with other local TV channels and provided feed on trial run basis.

Although the launching anniversary was on May 12, the BCSCL will celebrate it on Sunday in a city hotel. In the ceremony, a commemorative postage stamp would be unveiled along with the display of road show (BS 1’s different services), audio visual and others to mark the historic day as the 57th nation of satellite owners’ club.

DTH and ATM services

In addition, commercial service of Bangladesh’s first local Direct-To-Home (DTH) television will also begin on Sunday. Beximco Communications Limited (BCL) has introduced the DTH brand “Akash.”

BCSCL Chairman said: “BCL has taken five transponders of BS 1 dedicatedly for its DTH for smooth and quality service.”

Moreover, the BS 1 is working to connect automated teller machines (ATM) of different banks to offer uninterrupted and secure banking services. Meanwhile, it has completed demonstration successfully for the job.

Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said: “Initially, Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) would launch the trial run of ATM using the bandwidth of BS 1 and we have a plan to gradually bring maximum ATMs under its coverage.”

BS 1 launching

French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space launched the BS 1 in May 12 from Florida of America at a cost of Tk2,765 crore and according to the plan, it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial service.

Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, BS-1 would cover the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.

BCSCL has hired international consultancy firm Thaicom for two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of BS-1 in six countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in around 20 countries.

The satellite’s operations include “direct-to-home” service for TV channels, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), backhaul and network restoration, disaster preparedness and relief and many others.

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