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Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu-1 Communications Satellite Now Operational

Artist’s rendering of Bangabandhu-1. Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

Bangladesh has been given full control of its Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite after a handover ceremony where the satellite’s French manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, provided the ‘Transfer of Title’ documents to Bangladeshi officials.

“The achievement and pride is more important than what financial gains we can derive from the satellite,” said Mustafa Jabbar, Post, Telecommunication and IT Minister, at the event marking the transfer. He also said it would be remembered as a day of pride.

On 12 May 2018, the satellite was launched into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 satellite launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It contains 40 transponders; Bangladesh will use 20 and rent out the rest, according to BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.

Mahmood also thanked Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the ICT affairs adviser to the prime minister, for his role in the launch of the satellite.

“Our spendings will be offset in a short period of time. I hope we will hit the stock market in next two to three years,” he said.

In 2012, the Bangladeshi government appointed U.S.-based Space Partnership International to design the satellite. Later, the BTRC signed an over Tk 19.51 billion (U.S.$232.7 million) deal with Thales Alenia Space for the satellite system.

The transfer was made in Dhaka last Friday, 9 November 2018. Gilles Obadia of Thales Alenia Space handed the documents to Jahurul Haque, Acting Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, who later passed them to BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, according to a report on BDNews24.


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