KATHMANDU: The Nepal Telecommunications Authority and Franco-Italian satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space signed an agreement on March 11 yielding a letter of intent expressing Nepal’s desire to operate a national communications satellite.
Although no contract on manufacturing has been signed by the Nepali and French officials yet, the parties are expected to go into a full deal for building Nepal’s first satellite in the upcoming months.
The SpaceNews published a report quoting Thales Alenia Space which says Nepal has reserved an orbital slot with the International Telecommunication Union for a C- and Ku-band satellite that would launch in 2022 and operate from 123.3 degrees east.
“It is a privilege for Thales Alenia Space to have been selected by Nepal Telecommunications Authority for providing its national satellite,” Eric Imbert, Sales Vice-President for Thales Alenia Space said, “We believe the project will be a key asset to bridge the digital divide and a strong vector of economic growth.”
According to a statement released by Thales Alenia Space, Minister for Communication and Information Gokul Prasad Baskota expressed a desire to successfully compete with other countries, to give high-speed internet to all Nepali citizens, to be recognized regionally, and to accelerate Nepal’space on the way to digitization.
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 said in a statement.
As of now, 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, SpaceNews said.