The station was inaugurated via video conference from Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Tuesday
The Sajeeb Wazed Ground Station, the primary ground station for the Bangabandhu-1 satellite located near the Telecommunications Staff College in Telipara, Gazipur, has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Named after the prime minister’s son and ICT Adviser, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the station was inaugurated via video conference from Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka around 11:45am, Tuesday.
The backup ground station for the satellite, based in Betbunia, Chittagong, and also named after Sajeeb Wazed, was also inaugurated.
During the inauguration video conference, Sheikh Hasina said: “My father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the foundation for the ground station at Betbunia on June 14, 1974. We have followed in his footsteps and launched the satellite he envisioned.
“Our journey has taken us from Mujib to Sajeeb. The people of Bangladesh will reap the benefits of our journey. No one will be able to stop our progress,” she added.
Gazipur Deputy Commissioner, Dr Dewan Md Humayun Kabir, represented the ground station during the video conference.
A number of other eminent individuals, including Gazipur 2 constituency MP, Zahid Ahsan Russel, Dhaka Divisional Commissioner KM Ali Azam, and Dhaka Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Abdullah Al Mamun, were present during the inauguration.
Ground Station Network Operations Control Centre Mission Engineer and Manager Montasir Ur Rahman said: “After a successful launch on May 12, the satellite is exchanging signals with the ground station, and its systems and functions are being tested.
“So far, no problems have been detected. It is only a matter of time before it becomes fully operational, which should happen sometime in September,” he added.
“A state-owned company called Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) has been formed to look after the business activities of the satellite,” he also said.
Nasiruzzaman Rony, a satellite engineer at the Satellite Operation Control Centre, said: “Although initially controlled from the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, the satellite is now being controlled from Gazipur.”
Consultant SM Nusrat Dastgir said: “The satellite will provide 40 types of services, including television channels, very small aperture terminal (VSAT), internet, weather forecasts, and radio. Even if terrestrial infrastructure is damaged by natural disasters, these will ensure that lines of communication do not go down.
“20 of its transponders will be reserved for use by Bangladesh, with the other 20 being rented out to other countries,” he added.
Gazipur Deputy Commissioner Dr Dewan Md Humayun Kabir said: “With the launch of this satellite, Bangladesh has become the 57th country to have a communication device in space.”