Bangladesh’s first commercial satellite Bangabandhu-1 has completed the first stage of its launch.
The communication satellite completed the Launch and Early Orbit Phase 10 days after a SpaceX rocket blasted off carrying it into orbit early on May 12 from the US.
Saiful Alam, a director of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, which is operating the Bangabandhu-1, told bdnews24.com on Monday the satellite would be at its orbital slot – 119.1° east – by Tuesday morning.
The second phase of the launch, Satellite in Orbit – will take 20 days to complete.
Saiful hoped the ground station built in Gazipur will begin the process of taking the satellite’s control within one more day or two.
Built by Thales Alenia Space Facilities in France, the satellite will provide Ku-band and C-band television and data services across Bangladesh in a mission valued at some $280 million, including the cost of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Once operational, the satellite will provide three types of services: broadcasting, telecommunications and data communications.
The satellite contains 40 transponders; Bangladesh will use 20 and rent out the rest.
Television and radio stations use the broadcasting services delivered directly to their audiences and viewers.
Internet service providers along with mobile and land phone operators will also be able to use the satellite.
The satellite is expected to save Bangladesh Tk 14 million a year that the country is currently spending on renting foreign satellites.
The government is also expecting to earn Tk 2.5 to 3 billion annually from the satellite and start making profit in six to seven years’ time.