`Bangabandhu-I satellite to reach break-even in 9yrs’

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 00:00, Nov 15,2019


The country’s first communication satellite, Bangabandhu-I, would reach the break-even point within nine years, said Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL), adding that it is set to earn Tk 125 crore annually from the sale of 26 per cent of its capacity.

The company is also set to sign deals to sell another 25 per cent capacity within the next couple of months, BCSCL chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said at a press briefing at his office on Thursday.

He said that Bangabandhu-I has the opportunity to earn more than Tk 200 crore by selling the remaining capacity.

‘We are mostly concentrating on the local market right now due to the huge demand within the country, and at the same time, we have scopes in regional markets as well,’ he said.

The local market is much bigger than what primary estimations showed and it is growing at a high rate, added BCSCL chairman.

BCSCL got the state-owned television channel, Bangladesh Television, as its first client which is paying Tk 18 crore annually.

The company will also earn Tk 60 crore from other private television channels. In addition, it is also receiving Tk 4 crore from the ministries of shipping and fisheries.

Apart from this, the remaining amount is coming from the Direct-to-Home (DTH) service of Beximco Communications Limited, said Mahmood without revealing the deal value.

‘We have done a very conservative calculation about the unsold capacity and have estimated that it will take hardly nine years to recover the total cost of the Bangabandhu-I satellite,’ said the BCSCL chairman.

 The satellite was launched under a project involving Tk 2,765 crore.

The government is going to award another nine television channels and they will have to run their programmes using this satellite which will enable BCSCL to make another Tk 15 crore.

Mahmood also said that they have started the process of launching the country’s second satellite Bangabanhdu-II.

‘An international consultant will be appointed within the next two or three months to run feasibility studies on the demand for the type of second satellite that the government has promised to launch within its tenure by 2023,’ he said.

Mahmood said that the first one is a communication satellite while the second one will be a hybrid satellite which can support both weather forecast and ensure surveillance with other activities.

BCSCL managing director Shariar Ahmed Chowdhury and senior officials were also present at that time.

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