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15. Dezember 2012 6 15 /12 /Dezember /2012 00:24
Giants object to launch of BD satellite into orbit
They fear frequency disruptions
Published : Saturday, 15 December 2012

Jasim Khan

The launch of the country's first ever satellite 'Bangabandhu-1' by January 2015 into the orbit has become uncertain due to objections raised by some big nations. Moreover, the availability of necessary funds in this regard has yet to be confirmed.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications sources said a total of 20 countries, including Russia, France and Australia, raised objections to the launch of the Bangabandhu satellite as Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) applied for approval before sending the satellite into 102 degrees slot.

Those countries conveyed their objections to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) on the plea that if Bangladesh launches a satellite into 102 degrees slot, their satellites may face frequency disruptions.

A high official at the ministry told The Financial Express that Bangladesh needs a slot in the principal orbit, especially at 102 degrees or 69 degrees, where the country would get frequency smoothly.

He said if Bangladesh had applied for the east slot at 69 degrees, Malaysia, Singapore and China might have raised objections on the same plea.

Meanwhile, the BTRC and the finance ministry have showed differences of opinion on the search for funds for the project.

The government needs about Tk 30 billion for the project, which BTRC want to get under suppliers' credit from any financial institution that would also take responsibility to maintain the satellite for about 20 years. But the finance ministry has suggested BTRC to search for funds from any multilateral partner like Asian Development Bank (ADB) or the World Bank (WB), where interest rate is negligible.

Besides, formation of a proposed company which will find the necessary funds, operate and manage the satellite business, has been delayed due to delay in taking a decision by the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry.

The BTRC has made three proposals on the company, while the ministry at a meeting held last week could not take any decision in this connection.

The officials from different ministries during the meeting could not reach a decision about the financing and the nature of the proposed company.

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