Afghansat1 starts test broadcasts
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MCIT) on Saturday said Afghanistan’s first satellite ‘Afghansat1’ had successfully been placed into orbit and had started test broadcasts.
Previously named Eutelsat W2M, the satellite was launched after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MICT and Eutelsat on January 26 this year.
The Afghansat-1 satellite will support a wide range of services including broadcasting, mobile telephony backhaul and IP connectivity.
MCIT spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told Pajhwok Afghan News the Afghansat-1 had been deployed at 48° E and had started broadcasts on a trial basis, saying President Hamid Karzai would officially launch the satellite soon.
He said the satellite would help visual media outlets cover all Afghanistan and a number of regional countries including Turkey, United Arab Emirate (UAE), Pakistan and India.
First launched on December 20, 2008 aboard, Eutelsat W2M was built by EADS Astrium based around an I-3K satellite bus provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation and placed in geosynchronous orbit at 16°E, from where it was to provide communications services to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
The satellite has a mass of 3,460 kg, and a planned service life of 15 years. On January 28, 2009, Eutelsat announced that it would not accept delivery of the satellite due to what was described as a "major anomaly affecting the satellite's power subsystem".
For the past 10 years, Afghanistan has developed largely on ICT, Information and Communication Technology, with around 2.1 billion invested in this regard. The satellite launch will cost approximately $100 million.
With the launch of the satellite, Afghanistan television will be capable of broadcasting its programs in Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
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