Govt appoints PwC as consultant to launch 2nd satellite

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:57, Jan 19,2021


Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited on Tuesday assigned multinational consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory as consultant with a view to launching the country’s second satellite by the year 2023.

The BSCL has taken the initiative in three years of launching the country’s first satellite with a large portion of the first satellite’s capacity still remaining unutilised.

The BSCL, formed to maintain operations of the country’s satellite, signed an agreement with France-based PwC at an event held at its office in Dhaka.

PwC’s consultancy would cost $1.85 lakh and the entity would suggest which specifications in the next satellite would be required for Bangladesh and where from the satellite could be procured.

BSCL managing director Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury and PwC Space Practice Leader partner Luigi Scatteia signed the agreement virtually.

Posts and telecommunications minister Mustafa Jabbar, secretary Md Afzal Hossain, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder and BSCL chairman Shahjahan Mahmood were present.

The BSCL had received responses from 22 firms initially after floating tender in this regard.

Later, the entity selected seven entities, including PwC, and asked them to submit their final proposals. Of the seven, four entities submitted their final proposals to do the job.

Shahjahan said the country’s first satellite is a communication satellite and the satellite would be enough to fulfil the country’s communication-related needs.

It is required to have satellites with other facilities for the sake of the country, he said.

PwC has been given three months to submit its report to the BSCL and then the report would be forwarded to the government for the final decision, he said.

Mustafa Jabbar said that the appointment of PwC as the consultant would make their task easy to deploy another satellite of Bangladesh in space.

Launching another satellite would multiply the country’s capacity in space, he said.

The country launched its first satellite in May 12, 2018 at the cost of Tk 2,702 crore.

Before the launch of the satellite, the then BTRC chairman and now BSCL chairman Shahjahan had mentioned that the country’s investments would be realised in seven years and the project would be profitable in seven years.

In reply to a query, Shahjahan on Tuesday said that a large portion of the country’s first satellite was yet to be utilised.

‘We have refrained from renting the satellite’s capacity to foreign users and we are focusing on exploring the domestic market,’ he said.

The BSCL chairman said that the rate of satellite’s capacity rent had dropped drastically for the last nine years as the launching of satellites had increased dramatically in the period.

The first satellite, named after the country’s founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, contains 14 C-band and 26 Ku-band transponders each having capacity of 36 megahertz bandwidth.

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