The Shipping Ministry and Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Ltd have inked the deal
An agreement was signed on Sunday between the Shipping Ministry and the operators of the Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Ltd (BCSCL), to avail the services of the country's first satellite.
As per the agreement, with the satellite’s help, all ships and vessels navigating through the country's rivers and seas will be able to maintain communication with each other and prevent accidents, gain uninterrupted access to television, internet and other telecommunication facilities.
The agreement was signed by Shipping Secretary Md Abdus Samad and BCSCL Managing Director Md Saiful Islam.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and Mustafa Jabbar, the posts, telecommunications and information technology minister, were also present at the ceremony in Dhaka.
Later, Samad said that approximately 4,000 international vessels enter Bangladeshi waters annually, while 35,000 domestic vessels navigate throughout the country annually.
He said this agreement would help the vessels to maintain uninterrupted communication with each other and prevent collisions, enable access to internet and many more facilities.
Alongside the vessels, the facilities can also be availed by the ferry terminals and other riverside establishments.
Saiful, who is also an additional secretary at the Posts and Telecommunications Division, declined to share the actual contract value, but told UNB that they would be providing the satellite's services at less than international rates.
Citing the agreement as the first contract attained for Bangabandhu-1, he estimated September to be the time when they can formally begin to provide its services.
He said more commercial service contracts would hopefully be inked after September.
Bangabandhu-1Satellite Project Director Mezbahuzzaman told UNB that no technical faults have been found in the satellite so far. “The satellite is operating smoothly and in constant communication with the two ground control stations at Rangamati’s Betbunia and Gazipur.”
He said Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, which built the satellite, is also expected to handover complete control of the satellite to Bangladesh by September.