Thales Alenia Space on Friday handed over the ownership of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to Bangladesh after completion of required tests.
The French company handed over the ownership at a ceremony titled ‘Transfer of Title of Bangabandhu Satellite-1’ held at the office of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, a newly formed company that will operate the satellite, in Dhaka.
Posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar, posts and telecommunications division secretary Shyam Sunder Sikder, acting Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission chairman Md Jahurul Haque, BCSCL chairman Shahjahan Mahmood and Thales Alenia Space project manager Gilles Obadia were present, among others, at the ceremony.
At the programme, BTRC as the satellite launch project implementing authority took over the ownership from Thales and then the telecom regulator transferred the ownership to BCSCL.
Thanking everyone involved with the satellite launching, Mustafa Jabbar said, ‘Becoming a satellite owning country is a big achievement for the nation.’
He said that he was proud to know that Bangladeshi people had already become expert in handling the satellite within a very short period of time.
‘Today Bangladesh has officially become the owner of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 after completion of long and hard work for last three years,’ Shahjahan Mahmood said.
Completion of such a technologically complex project with the help of Thales has established a bridge between France and Bangladesh, he said.
He also informed that the Bangladeshi companies would use 20 transponders out of the 40 transponders of the satellite and the rest 20 would be leased out to foreign companies.
Once the commercial operation of the satellite starts, Bangladesh would be able to save $14 million per year as Bangladeshi television channels spend such amount of money for using satellite owned by foreign companies, he said.
On the other hand, Bangladesh would be able to earn foreign currency by leasing the satellite, the BCSCL chairman said.
‘We hope that the cost of the satellite would be realised within half of the lifespan of the satellite,’ Shahjahan said.
He also informed that BCSCL had plans to become listed with the stock exchange within next 2-3 years when the company would become profitable.
France ambassador in Bangladesh Marie-Annick Bourdin said that it was a big achievement for all that all the issues related with Bangabandhu Satellite-1 were working well.
Mentioning the government’s plan to launch another satellite, she said that France would be with Bangladesh in building another satellite if Bangladesh desired to get support.
On November 11, 2015, BTRC signed an agreement with Thales to build the telecommunications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, after the company won the contract in an international tender.
The satellite, launched by American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company, SpaceX, in May 11 this year from Florida in the USA, has been going through different types of tests before opening for commercial use.
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