Bangladesh plans to launch communication satellite

Dhaka, Nov 27 ( Bangladesh plans to launch its own satellite within a year, joining 50 other countries, including South Asian neighbours India and Pakistan, to ramp up its communications network.

The cost of the programme will be between $150 million and $200 million, Post and Telecommunications Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Raju said Thursday.

“We’ve already started talking to different countries including the US, Japan and China, to help us launch our own satellite,” the minister told The Daily Star newspaper.

“Financing by the interested country will be an important criterion for awarding the contract,” he said.

The satellite would serve commercial purposes including improving telecom services, helping to meet the booming demand for it. Telecom operators could subscribe to satellite services on a commercial basis, the minister added.

Television broadcasting, and meteorological data including disaster warnings would be available easily by the satellite. It might also be used for mapping natural resources, and to predict weather to help farmers, experts said.

Experts have welcomed the proposed venture.

“A satellite of our own can benefit us a lot, including better weather forecasting and survey of mineral resources,” said Satya Prasad Majumder, a professor of electrical engineering and electronics at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Currently, Bangladesh subscribes to information about its mineral resources from the US, he said.

Majumder said a satellite could also help control mass communication traffic, such as television and radio broadcasting.

Bangladesh’s communication channels have been snapped many times when the underwater cables snap. If the fibre optic cable is snapped, services will remain undisturbed through VSAT for the satellite.