Dhaka joins South Asia Satellite


Dhaka, March 23: Bangladesh and India on Thursday signed an agreement on the ‘South Asia Satellite’ formally joining the Indian government’s initiative.

Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Shahjahan Mahmood and Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla signed the agreement titled ‘Orbit Frequency Coordination of proposed at 48oE’.

All the South Asian countries, except Pakistan, will be part of this unique project binding the region in a cooperative and collaborative endeavour for the benefit of the people of the participating countries.

“It represents a landmark in cooperation between our two countries in high technology,” said High Commissioner Shringla.

He said he is happy that Bangladesh, as a close friend, partner and neighbour of India, has agreed to join this initiative, the first of its kind in the region.

The South Asia Satellite is a communication satellite covering the South Asia region for the use of participating countries to host applications in the areas of education, health and emergency communication.

The benefits associated with the participation in the project include tele-education, tele-medicine and inter-government networks, emergency communication for disaster situation, television broadcast and DTH television services.

India has designed and constructed this Satellite at a cost of $400 million.

The High Commissioner thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for supporting this regional initiative.

“I’m confident that the launching of the South Asia Satellite will contribute to the re-integration of the economies of the South Asia region and also connect, empower and transform the lives of our people,” he said.

Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh has formally joined the initiative through signing the agreement.

He said this landmark agreement will help Bangladesh get connected with hi-tech cooperation in the region. “It’ll help send out a message to other regions that we’re not lagging behind.”

BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said Bangladesh will get a free transponder among 12 transponders which can be used at Bangladesh’s own choice.

Besides, State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim also welcomed the deal in an audio message as she is staying abroad, reports agency.

India, through the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will launch a 2-ton class communication satellite with 12-Ku band transponders (36 Mhz each) using ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk-II) for serving the South Asia region.