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Afghanistan’s first satellite starts test broadcasts

in Afghan Business

Afghanistan’s first satellite starts test broadcasts

afghansat1Afghanistan’s first satellite, called Afghansat1, has reportedly started test broadcasts.

Waiting for official launch by President Hamid Karzai, the satellite broadcasts on a trial basis.

The satellite, deployed at 48° E, will support services including broadcasting, IP connectivity and mobile telephony backhaul.

Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) spokesperson, Nasrat Rahimi, said the satellite would deliver national coverage and extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East.

The satellite was initially named Eutelsat W2M after the Afghan government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Eutelsat Communications on January 26 of this year.

Eutelsat and the MCIT  have also agreed on exploring opportunities for longer-term cooperation.

The satellite launch will cost approximately USD 100mn. The satellite has a mass of 3,460 kg, and a planned service life of 15 years.

AFGHANSAT 1 is a new milestone in the development of the ICT sector in Afghanistan, which in the last 12 years has already seen mobile telephony coverage of 88% and penetration grow from zero to 75% through the licensing of six operators.

 ICT sector employment provided for more than 138,000 people and more than $2.1 billion invested in the national economy.

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