Bangabandhu Satellite-1 – building a Digital Bangladesh

Its about time Bangladesh took initiative to launch a satellite into space. Being a third world country and having a massive population, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will help Bangladesh keep its currencies home as Bangladesh currently spends around 14 million USD renting foreign satellites for its DTH and VSAT services.

Connectivity will be easier and more intuitive

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be carried into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5. The satellite aims to improve DTH(Direct-to-Home) services, making worldwide television services uninterrupted. This would mean better economy for the country as well, as a massive amount of foreign currency should be saved. Also, Bangladesh can provide DTH services to other countries as well, with the government looking to rent out the 40 transponders to countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Bhutan and possibly earn more than 50 million USD per year.

Better communications and virtually no downtime

The satellite aims to provide internet and VoIP connectivity in remote areas. IT minister Mustafa Jabbar mentioned that the government has identified 772 hard-to-reach unions and aims to use the satellite for communications in those areas. Usually in these areas, land based communication is not available, and satellites will help in this regard.

Improved efficiency from satellite

BTRC aims to establish a rock-solid network of connectivity, and through VSAT services this would be possible.  Any disruption in optical fiber can be disregarded and emergency broadcasts can be much easier. Currently there are 5 VSAT provider with hub license, 12 VSAT provider Licensee and 44 VSAT user Licensee in Bangladesh. VSAT network offers value added satellite services capable of supporting the internet, data, LAN, voice communication through powerful and reliable networks. Establishment of the satellite would surely reduce the cost for VSAT services.

What this means for the mobile industry

International call rates to Bangladesh has been relatively high, especially from SAARC countries. The establishment of this satellite will bring down these international call rates and data pricing for the average consumer. This means mobile internet will be a thing, and the 4G supported handsets you use can finally unleash their full potential.

Plans after launch

Once launched, the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 aims to cover its annual costs and bring in foreign currencies through leasing out half of its capacity to SAARC countries. BTRC aims to break even within seven years of operation, as the satellite is projected to have a lifespan of fifteen years. The Bangladeshi government has already bought 119.1 east longitude orbital slot from Russia based Intersputnik for 15 years.

The project cost Bangladesh around 500 million USD, and aims to improve Bangladesh’s infrastructure.

Leave a Reply