NTA proceeds to launch its own satellite

Kathmandu, January 3

Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has proceeded to launch its own satellite in space as part of the government’s policy of installing its own satellites in space within the next two years.

In this regard, the processes of regulation and security of ground satellite installation, legal structure, framework, business structure, technical requirements and preparation of bid documents have been taken forward. NTA Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal informed that a letter of interest has been sought for the appointment of an international-level consultant for the technical work, including preparation of the entire policy. As per him, the firm will be selected on the basis of competition from among the consultants that have submitted the letter of interest and the company will carry out the basic work related to the installation of the satellite. The government is planning to set up its own satellite as the use of foreign satellites will be sensitive to the national security of the country. The government has also brought the Satellite Policy, 2020 for the establishment of ground satellite. The policy approved by the Cabinet meeting held in July mentioned that reliable and quality service will be provided from within the country within 2022 by installing its own satellite in space. The letter of interest will be evaluated on the basis of 40 per cent qualification, 50 per cent experience and 10 per cent ability, according to NTA. Only companies shortlisted on the basis of evaluation of the letter of interest will be allowed to submit technical and financial proposals. Similarly, a separate organisation will be selected for the launch and operation of the satellite in the second phase, Aryal said. Earlier, NTA had cancelled all the procurement processes and expression of interest by issuing a notice on December 8, 2020. Despite having the orbital slots allocated by the International Telecommunication Union since 1984, the government has failed to utilise the fixed satellite service (FSS) capacity so far. Orbital slots refer to the location where satellites are placed and Nepal has been assigned 50 degree east and 123.3 degree east orbital slots for its satellites.