The full scale transmission of Television channels from Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BS-1) will take some more time, said officials concerned of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL).
BCSCL is responsible to operate and maintain the country’s first ever satellite. “It will take several days as we are not going to provide services through the existing system. Instead we are developing a new system, like taking the link of certain channels to Gazipur ground station through optical fiber. After that they will be connected to Bangabandhu Satellite-1 from Gazipur,” said BCSCL Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood.
He also said local channels will be prioritized in terms of the satellite use once full scale transmission starts.
He hoped all television operators of the country will take services from BCSCL. Saiful Islam, managing director of BCSCL, told Bangladesh Post, “The test broadcasting is actually a technical process, and now we are trying to gradually enrich ourselves through transmission of TV channels on small scale.”
”Soon we will be able to bring all TV channels under the BS-1,” he said.
Asked about the total number of TV channels which so far have come under the BS-1, he said four TV channels till now are now being transmitted through BS-1, and soon the rest will also be included.
Through broadcasting South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship on Bangladesh Television (BTV) on September 4 this year, the test transmission activity of the BS-1 started recently.
According to the information of the BCSCL, subsequently, Ekattor TV, Bijoy TV and Deepto TV have been brought under the BS-1 transponder.
A BCSCL official, seeking anonymity, said there are several complexities in bringing all the satellite TV channels under the BS-1 so soon, as many private channels have long-term agreements with foreign transmitters like Singapore and Hong Kong. So, it will take more time to bring all of them under one shed.
Meanwhile, in terms of the satellite’s use in other fields, BCSCL officials said there has been much progress in this regard.
The satellite company has already made several agreements with local and international companies, they said, adding that a big agreement with country’s Shipping Ministry has been signed to provide services to all ships and vessels navigating through the country’s rivers and seas.
The agreement has been signed to provide satellite services in order to enable them to maintain communication with each other so that they can avoid any possible accidents, said the officials.
On the other hand, agreements have also been inked with companies like Square, DNS Satcom and ADN who will work as the marketing partners of the BCSCL.
As per the agreement, these companies will also work as sales partner to sell and search for new markets to sell the services of the BS-1.
BCSCL said the company, alongside all these, would start commercial activities in foreign countries.
It was also learned that, as the satellite is located over Indonesia and the Philippines, monitoring agencies will be opened there to search for new opportunities.
Earlier, on September 9 this year, the Bangladesh Government received the certificate of full control of the BS-1 from the manufacturer company Thales Alenia Space.
Gilles Obadia, programme manager of Thales Alenia, handed over the certificate to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Md Jahurul Haque.
Thales Alenia launched the Bangabandhu-1 on May 12 this year from America’s Florida.
The entire project was executed at a cost of Tk 2,765 crore, and according to the plan, it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial services.