NTA to restart all processes to launch Nepal’s own satellite


Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has cancelled all the processes of launching its own satellite.

Issuing a notice today, it stated that the expression of interest (EoI) submitted by interested firms have been cancelled as the authority is preparing to begin all the processes from scratch.

As per the notice, all the procurement processes and EoI notice issued by NTA on October 6, 2016 and received by November 21, 2016 for shortlisting process for ‘launching satellite in the orbital positions allocated to Nepal by International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’ has been cancelled.

NTA plans to launch the satellite in the orbital position set for Nepal by ITU.

NTA has explained that the processes have been cancelled considering procedural delays and as the government has come up with new policies in the meantime.

As the government issued the Satellite Policy 2020 in July, NTA has stated that new processes will be started by being based on its provisions.

The policy aims to provide satellite services from Nepal by 2022 by setting up its own satellite.

In 2016, three companies each from the United States, China, India; two each from Singapore and Thailand; and one each from Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Israel had submitted letters of intent to the authority.

At present, Nepali telecommunication service providers, radios and televisions are using foreign satellites.

Billions of rupees are flowing out of Nepali companies annually for using the foreign satellites.

If the country has its own satellite for telecommunication services, the outflow of Nepali money is expected to decrease.

Despite having the orbital slots allocated by the ITU 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 to keep satellites.