Pakistan in talks with Hughes for satellite deal

Pakistan is negotiating a satellite deal with European and US operators to buy two satellites, one to occupy the 38 E orbital slot allotted to the country, and the other as a back up option in the same slot. 

Reports in the national newspaper Dawn say Pakistan has sent a high-level delegation to Germany to negotiate with Hughes Global Services for the Anatolia 1 satellite. The satellite, which started life as Palapa C1, is a series 601 satellite, built by Boeing, which was resold to Hughes in January 1999. It was first launched on 31 January, 1996, using an Atlas 2AS booster and was slotted at 150 degrees East after launching from Kourou in French Guiana. Quoting Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, the Dawn says Turkey, which currently has the satellite in its 50 E orbital slot, has expressed its inability to do frequency coordination for the satellite.

Meanwhile, the Daily Jang says that Pakistan's ministry of science and technology has invited internationally recognised consultants to assist in developing the country's PAKSAT satellite project to "enhance the country's communications as well as strategic capabilities." The newspaper says the orbital slot allocated to Pakistan by the International Telecommunication Union at 38 deg E would lapse in April 2003 unless the country has a satellite in place with transponders switched on and international approval is obtained for ownership of the slot. 

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