China to build and launch Cambodia’s first satellite

Image courtesy of CGWIC

On 11 January 2018, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), which is the international commercial arm of China’s space programme, announced that it has signed a framework agreement with the Royal Cambodia Group for a new communications satellite, Techo 1. Techo 1 will be Cambodia’s first communications satellite.

The signing took place on the day of the announcement, at the Peach Palace in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia. Witnessing the occasion were Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

This comes a few months after the Royal Group announced plans to launch its own satellite to facilitate its businesses such as the Cambodian Broadcasting Service Company (CBS) and Cellcard, Cambodia’s third largest mobile network operator. The satellite will also be used for broadband, disaster management, national security and government services. The project appears to be heavily supported by the Cambodian government, which believes that satellites can improve connectivity in urban and rural areas, and aid the country’s development.

Under the agreement, China will provide the Royal Group with end-to-end satellite services including satellite development, launch, ground station systems, and training and technology transfer.

The satellite, which will have a design life of 15 years, is expected to launch in 2021.

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