Rs 800 crore earmarked for two communication satellites in current year

NEW DELHI: A budget of Rs 800 crore has been set aside for the launch of the GSAT 15 and GSAT 16 communication satellites during 2013-14.

However, the total budget for GSAT-15 is Rs 859.5 crore and the figure for GSAT-16 is Rs 865.5 crore.

GSAT-15 is a geostationary communication satellite which will carry 24 Ku-band transponders and one GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) payload. GSAT-15 satellite will support the existing Direct-To-Home (DTH) and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services in the country and the GAGAN payload will be a part of GAGAN space segment to provide better air traffic management over Indian Air Space.

GSAT-16 is a geostationary communication satellite which will carry 24 C-band, 12 Ku-band and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders. GSAT-16 satellite will support satellite based telecommunication, television, VSAT and other services in the country.

GSAT-15 and GSAT-16 satellites are targeted for launch during the 2014-16 timeframe. The two satellites were approved in July this year, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V Narayansamy told Parliament.

The revenue earned by ANTRIX Corporation, the commercial arm of the department, through leasing of INSAT/GSAT transponders during the year 2012-13 is approximately Rs 482.67 crore.

This revenue accrues from service providers of Direct-To-Home (DTH) services, TV Uplink services, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) services and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services. This revenue does not include the capacities provided to various societal applications such a tele-education, tele-medicine, Village Resource Center, Disaster Management and part of public broadcasting services, which are not of the nature of revenue-earning services.

At present, there are nine operational INSAT/GSAT communication satellites: INSAT-3A, INSAT-3C, INSAT-3E, INSAT-4A, INSAT-4B, INSAT-4CR, GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-12. The total number of transponders available at present from these satellites is 195 operating in C, Extended C, Ku, and S-bands.

Transponders on communication satellites are leased to users after the launch and operationalisation of the satellite. The Department of Space leases the transponders on INSAT/GSAT satellites through ANTRIX.

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