The work on Bangabandhu-1, the first Bangladeshi satellite, is rapidly progressing with the target of launching it on December 16 Victory Day later this year.
Posts and Telecommunications Division sources claim 55% of the work has been finished.
The Bangabandhu-1 will provide 40 different types of services once launched into orbit. The satellite with 1,600MHz capacity will have 40 transponders and the physical equipment of the space capsule that measures the capacity. Half of the capacity will be reserved for Bangladesh while the other half will be rented out.
In 2008, the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) completed the primary work, including the submission of electronic filing to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to launch the satellite.
It is the most technologically advanced project to have been undertaken by the Bangladesh government. A budget of Tk2,969 crore was approved to reduce dependency on foreign countries.
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State Minister for Posts and Communications Tarana Halim said the project is looking to finish work by this year so that the satellite can be launched on Victory Day.
She said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may go to the USA to launch the satellite.
Bangabandhu-1 Project Director Abdur Razzak said: “More than half the work has been completed. The construction work of two ground control stations in Gazipur and Betbunia are going on in full swing. We hope to wrap up the work in time.”
According to the sources, the work on Bangabandhu Sattelite-1 is going on under the facility of Thales Alenia Space of Cannes and Toulouse. Thales Alenia Space is in charge of the design, production, testing and the delivery in orbit of the satellite.
Bangabandhu-1 is a satellite telecommunications system, comprising a satellite and the complete ground segment (control, mission and user segments). It will be launched using a Falcon-9 rocket of the SpaceX programme from Cape Canaveral in the US.
An agreement has already been signed between SpaceX, USA and Thales.
On September 9, 2016, an agreement of 157 million Euros (equivalent to Tk1,400 crore) with HSBC was signed for financing the project.
Currently, Bangladesh rents bandwidth from foreign operators at $14 million per year to meet national satellite connectivity demands.