The commercial operation of Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I began on Sunday providing feed to local television channels.
To this end, six TV channels struck deals with Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, the assigned entity for handling BS-I, at the ceremony of launching anniversary celebration in a hotel in the capital.
The six televisions – Dipto TV, Samoy TV, Jamuna TV, Bijoy TV, Bangla TV and MY TV will now broadcast their programs through BS-I.
‘Within next few days other televisions will gradually join the BS-I,’ said BCSCL chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
Currently most of the TV channels are using the country’s lone satellite on trial basis.
In the ceremony, the BCSCL also signed a memorandum of understanding with state owned Sonali Bank to provide connectivity from BS-I.
Shahjahan Mahmood said providing connectivity to the TV channels for transmission was one of the main features of BS-I along with direct-to-home connectivity.
On Wednesday, Beximco Communications Limited launched DTH service under the brand name ‘Akash’.
Akash is renting 5 transponders of BS-I’s 40 transponder.
Moreover, the BS-I is working to connect automated teller machines of different banks to offer uninterrupted and secure banking services. Meanwhile, it has completed demonstration successfully for the job.
French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space launched the BS-I in May 12 from Florida of America at a cost of Tk 2,765 crore and according to the plan it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial service.
Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, BS-I would cover the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.
The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.
BCSCL has hired international consultancy firm Thaicom for two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of BS-I in six countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in around 20 countries.
The satellite’s operations include direct-to-home service for TV channels, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), backhaul and network restoration, disaster preparedness and relief and many others.
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