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Friday, November 27, 2009
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Bangladesh plans to launch satellite

Negotiates with leading countries for tech support

Bangladesh plans to launch its own communications satellite within a year, Post and Telecommunications Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Raju said yesterday.

The cost of the programme will be between $150 million and $200 million, he said.

The minister disclosed the government plan to reporters during a media briefing.

"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 over the phone.

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.

"We are very serious. We hope to give the people the good news soon," said Raju.

He said the government is discussing the technical aspects with the US, Japan and China that have vast experience in the field. Some other countries are also showing interest, he added.

After assessing the proposals of interested countries, the government will pick the one that is most favourable for Bangladesh, the telecom minister said.

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

Experts have welcomed the venture saying that satellite technology would provide quality and faster telecom services to the people, and reduce the risks associated with natural calamities.

"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 (Buet).

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.

"You don't need a cable TV network if you have satellite services," the Buet professor also an expert on communication technology told The Daily Star.

Syed Margub Morshed, former chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said a satellite can give a country uninterrupted communication services.

“If the fibre optic cable is snapped, services will remain undisturbed through VSAT for the satellite," he said.

There are several thousand satellites in space, launched by more than 50 countries. Bangladesh's neighbours India and Pakistan launched their own satellites in 1980 and 1990 respectively.

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One of the best news I have heard in many years. Go for it Bangladesh!

: Abdur rob

How much time we Wait for like this facility.Internet which we can use is not uninterrupted ,so we need it very early as possible.

: Shankar Kumar Kuri


  • Shimanto Hassan
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 11:19 PM GMT+06:00 (324 weeks ago)

    Undoubltedly this plan is a very positive attempt of the Government. It will help the government to materialize its dream to bring the country under digitalization. Besides, it will help the country to get proper signals of any natural disaster as well as to have information of any illegal movement inside the country. After all in a country like us we always think first of the economical side of the country and raise negative voice against any such type of bold initiave. But we should bear in mind that poverty never ends. Hence, any initiave needed for the greater benefit of the nation should be addressed as immediately as possible. But some elligible Bangladeshi scientists should be sent to NASA or any suitable place to have proper knowledge in maintaining the system. I think this initiative of the government is a very time-bounding one.





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