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Nepal Taps Thales Alenia Space To Build Telecommunications Satellite

Artist’s rendering of Bangabandhu-1, a communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space. Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority and Thales Alenia Space, a Joint Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %),  have signed today an agreement under which Thales Alenia Space will build the national satellite telecommunication system for Nepal. This agreement is following the Letter of Intent previously signed on 5 March 2019 in Paris by the Honourable Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Nepal, Mr. Gokul Prasad Baskota, and the Honourable Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

This very high-performance C-/Ku-Band satellite, yet to be named by Nepal, is to be launched by 2022 and to be positioned at the 123.3° E orbital slot reserved for Nepal by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It will be based on the SpaceBus National Satellite System solution developed by Thales Alenia Space.

The main mission is to make high-speed internet available throughout Nepal, spearheading services such as telemedicine, e-learning, e-government, disaster management, information technologies, agriculture, tourism, hydropower and other value-added services, along with the provisions of Direct-to-Home television and mobile phone backhauling. The ubiquitous and versatile communication services provided by the satellite are primarily targeted at reducing the digital divide, especially in the underserved rural areas.

“It is a privilege for Thales Alenia Space to have been selected by Nepal Telecommunications Authority for providing its national satellite.  We believe the project  will be a key asset to bridge the digital divide and a strong vector of economic growth. We are also thrilled to embark into this long term cooperation with Nepal and support the country develop its space capabilities and services for the benefit of all its citizens,” declared Eric Imbert, Sales Vice-President for Thales Alenia Space.

The Honourable Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mr. Gokul Prasad Baskota, added: “To successfully compete with other countries, to give high speed internet to all our citizens and to be recognized regionally, we want Nepal to accelerate its pace on the way to digitization. No one must be left behind on this path. Our National Satellite will help us jump into a better future. We found in Thales Alenia Space an impressive expertise and a strong partnership spirit that match our ambition to be self-dependent, make self-identity in space technology and to pace towards prosperity of digital Nepal.”

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