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Nepal to Get its Own Telecommunication Satellite

It looks like Nepal will get its own satellite soon. Thales Alenia Space signed an agreement with Nepal Telecommunications Authority and on 11th March to build the national satellite telecommunication system for Nepal. A Letter of Intent was previously signed on 5th March 2019 in Paris by the Honourable Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Nepal, Mr. Gokul Prasad Baskota, and the Honourable Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

Thales Alenia Space is a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer formed after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Leonardo – Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio. The company is Europe’s largest satellite manufacturer.

Artist’s rendering of Bangabandhu-1, a communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space. Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

Until now, only an agreement has been signed between Thales Alenia Space and Nepal. No concrete contract has been signed but Thales says that it expects to sign a contract in the upcoming months.

This very high-performance C-/Ku-Band satellite has a planned launch date of 2022. It will be positioned at the 123.3° E orbital slot reserved for Nepal by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This satellite will be based on the SpaceBus National Satellite System solution developed by Thales Alenia Space.

In a statement released by Thales Alenia, Honorable minister Gokul Prasad Baskota said, “To successfully compete with other countries, to give high speed internet to all our citizens and to be recognized regionally, we want Nepal to accelerate its pace on the way to digitization.” “No one must be left behind on this path. Our National Satellite will help us jump into a better future.”

“The main mission is to make high-speed internet available throughout Nepal, spearheading services such as telemedicine, e-learning, e-government, disaster management, information technologies, agriculture, tourism, hydropower and other value-added services,” the satellite manufacturer, Thales Alenia, added in its statement.

Several regional satellite operators, including Thaicom of Thailand, Hong Kong-based AsiaSat, Malaysia-based Measat and Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan currently have C- and/or Ku-band coverage of Nepal. Global fleet operators Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat all cover Nepal as well.

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