Satellites

Vietnam targets 2008 for launch of first satellite

MUMBAI: The launch of Vietnam’s first telecom satellite Vinasat has been put on hold till 2008 instead of the original time in 2005 due to unfinished orbit negotiations.

Media reports indicate that Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) is responsible for the launching of the satellite. Total costs are estimated to be $179.9 million, 20 per cent of which will be covered by VNPT. Credit institutions will supply the rest.

The main ground station will be located in the northern province of Ha Tay and the standby ground station in the southern province of Binh Duong.

The country's Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has formally asked authorities to reopen an international tender for the construction of the country's first satellite after months of standstill, sources said.

The premier said the satellite carrying up to 20 communication modules would have to be launched before the second quarter of 2008. Earlier this month he had sent written instructions asking VNPT to go ahead with the bidding for the "Vinasat satellite.

The geo-stationary satellite Vinasat will be of average size, weighing 2,200kg and including 25-30 transponders, each of which corresponds to nearly 500 telephone circuits or four to six television channels.

Vinasat could last 15 years or more and save Vietnam some $10 million each year from leasing telecoms channels of foreign satellites such as Asiasat, Thaicom and Miasat. The satellite will cover Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries as well as parts of China and Japan.

 

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