MoU inked on access to satellite infrastructure
KABUL (Pajhwok): Under an agreement signed on Wednesday, Afghanistan has received satellite resources that will enhance deployment of its national broadcasting, telecommunications infrastructure and international connectivity.
Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, and the Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) signed the memorandum of understanding.
Under the multiyear agreement, Eutelsat will deploy an in-orbit satellite from February 2014 to 48° east to deliver full national coverage and extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East, a press release said.
The satellite will be officially called AFGHANSAT 1, reflecting the country’s entry into the commercial satellite business. It will support a wide range of services including broadcasting, mobile telephony backhaul and IP connectivity.
Commenting on the agreement, MCIT Minister Eng. Amir Zai Sangin said: “AFGHANSAT 1 is a new milestone in the development of the ICT sector in Afghanistan, which in the last 12 years has already seen mobile telephony coverage of 88% and penetration grow from zero to 75% through the licensing of six operators, ICT sector employment provided for more than 138,000 people and more than $2.1 billion invested in the national economy.”
He went on to say: “We are very happy to partner with Eutelsat on AFGHANSAT 1 which will provide access to ICT and broadcast services to Afghans, especially in unserved areas, and support our vision of transforming Afghanistan into an information society.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the MCIT in Kabul, Michel de Rosen, chairman and CEO of Eutelsat, said: “This MOU represents the fastest and most effective route to accessing infrastructure configured to deliver full coverage of Afghanistan and surrounding regions.”
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