Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Starts Commercial Broadcasting

> Dipto Paul

Private and state-owned television channels of Bangladesh started their official broadcasting through Bangabandhu Satellite -1 from Wednesday.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over certificates to the TV channel representatives in a grand program at Hotel Pan Pacific Shonargaon on Wednesday morning.

Though TV channels were already running the operation through the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on a test basis for the last one month and now government makes it officially.

BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said, “Now everything turned out to be satisfactory, as we started commercial operation with BCSCL’s service”.

“We are planning from many day’s for including every television channel in our own satellite. At last with everyone’s cooperation and sincerity we can make it happen”, he added.

The local television channels would use about 5.5% of the total transponders.

There are total 40 transponders are installed in Bangabandhu-1. Among them 20 transponders will be used for national purpose and rest 20 will be rented abroad.

5 transponders are Already rented to a privet organization. Philippines and Nepal both the countries have expressed their interests to lease Bangabandhu-1 satellite.

The Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company (BCSCL) sources have said they are offering Tk1.57 lakh in monthly fees for per MHz spectrum for one year, down from its original rate of Tk1.95 lakh.

Previously, most of the TV channels had been taking the services from the Hong Kong-based Star Alliance satellite company at the monthly rate of around Tk3.50 to Tk4 lakh for per MHz.

An editor of a privet television channel said, “As our own satellite is ready to operate, it will reduce the cost than we had to pay before to the foreign company. Besides we don’t need to give our money to the foreigners rather we can keep our money in our own country”.

On October 21, 2015, the Cabinet Purchase Committee approved the project for buying the satellite system.

After that, BTRC signed a deal involving Tk2,000 crore with French company Thales Alenia Space for the construction of Bangladesh’s first-ever satellite Bangabandhu-1.

The satellite was launched into the orbital slot at 119.1-degree east longitude. The slot was bought from Russian satellite company “Intersputnik” for US$28 million in January 2015.

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