Thaicom, Thailand’s largest satellite operator, has signed a consulting contract with a new government-owned Bangladeshi satellite operator, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL).
The contract is a multi-year consultancy service agreement, in which Thaicom will provide BCSCL with comprehensive business and market development services for Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BS-1), Bangladesh’s first geostationary satellite launched by SpaceX on 11 May this year.
BS-1, which aims to bring connectivity to Bangladesh and also help the country in disaster management and recovery, is a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) located at 119. 1° East. This means that, in addition to Bangladesh, the satellite is capable of serving other South Asian countries and the whole of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and The Philippines, in the Ku-band. It can also provide C-band coverage to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which in theory makes BS-1 capable of serving up to 30% of the world’s population.
This agreement reflects one of the steps taken by BCSCL to develop the country’s nascent satellite communications industry, giving it business support to complement technical expertise; the company relies on its own pool of local engineers for technical support, all of whom have been trained by BS-1 manufacturer Thales Alenia.
Said Md Saiful Islam, Managing Director of BCSCL, “We are pleased to partner with Thaicom in order to develop our Bangabandhu satellite program and future markets. The Bangabandhu satellite system represents an opportunity for our Nation to provide advanced communications and broadcasting access including high-speed internet and direct-to-home broadcasting services for both the citizens of Bangladesh and the people in other Asian countries in a cost-effective manner. Our partnership with Thaicom demonstrates a key step in our commitment to increasing economic growth, and enhancing the quality of life for all Bangladeshi citizens through nationwide access to telecommunications.”
Anant Kaewruamvongs, CEO of Thaicom, stated: “We are proud to be able to participate in this historical milestone for Bangladesh and to have been selected to assist the country in the business and market development of its Bangabandhu Satellite-1 in several Asian countries. Thaicom has many years of experience and expertise in developing complex satellite programs and deploying services on the ground to mitigate the digital divide in the Asia Pacific, as with IPSTAR we were the first company worldwide to launch a high-throughput satellite back in 2005.”