Bangladesh has sought four more orbital slots from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to launch country’s second satellite Bangabandhu-II into the space.
The country has taken the move following the successful launching of its first geostationary communication satellite Bangabandhu-I into the orbit this year, said officials.
Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said they have started the process of getting suitable orbital slot for launching the second satellite.
“We’ve filed application to the ITU for 69 degree east, 74 degree east, 102 degree east and 133 degree east,” he revealed.
Mentioning that getting an orbital slot requires a long procedure, Dr Mahmood said: “ITU allocates orbital slot after screening and hearing the applications and objections of many countries.”
“Bangladesh has just filed application and it doesn’t mean that we have got the slots,” he added, saying many countries applied for slot in same orbital positions.
At the same time, many countries file complaints objecting that footprint of satellite might pose difficulties for their frequency that is why “sometimes it takes extra time for allocating the slot,” added Dr Mahmood.
The BCSCL Chairman said he has a plan to open a separate cell in the company which would deal with only the orbital slot.
Failing to secure a slot following the objections of different countries in the South Asia and Asia Pacific region, Bangladesh launched Bangabandhu-I into 119.1 degrees east by renting it from Russian company “Intersputnik” at $ 28 million for 15 years.
French manufacturing company Thales Alenia Space launched the Bangabandhu-I in May 12 (BST) from Florida of America at a cost of Taka 2,765 crore, and according to the plan, it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial service.
The satellite, now being run by local engineers with the assistance of Thales’s experts, is waiting to go into commercial operation after overcoming all technical examinations.
Meanwhile, BCSCL has international consultancy firm Thaicom for two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of Bangabandhu-I in six countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in around 20 countries.
Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, Bangabandhu-I would cover the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.
The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.
The satellite’s operations include “direct-to-home” service for TV channels, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), backhaul and network restoration, disaster preparedness and relief.