An agreement has been signed between the Bangladesh Shipping Ministry and the operators of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Ltd. (BCSCL), to make available the services of the country’s first satellite.
As per the agreement, with the help of the satellite, all the country’s ships and vessels navigating through the country’s rivers and seas will be able to maintain communication with each other and prevent accidents, gain uninterrupted access to television, internet and other telecommunication facilities.
The agreement was signed by the secretary of the ministry Md Abdus Samad and managing director of BCSCL Md Saiful Islam. Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology (ICT) Minister Mustafa Jabbar were also present during the occasion.
After the signing ceremony, Abdus Samad said that approximately 4,000 international vessels enter Bangladeshi waters annually, while 35,000 domestic vessels navigate throughout the country annually. This agreement would help the vessels to maintain uninterrupted communication with each other and prevent collisions, enable access to internet and many more facilities, the secretary added. Alongside the vessels, the facilities can also be availed by the ferry ghats and other riverside establishments.
Saiful Islam, who is also an additional secretary at the Posts and Telecommunications Division, declined to share the actual contract value but indicated the the satellite’s services will be provided at less than international rates. Citing the agreement as the first contract attained for Bangabandhu-1, he estimated September to be the time when they can formally begin to provide its services. He said there is target to go for more commercial service contracts after September.
Project Director of Bangabandhu-1 Mezbahuzzaman said the satellite is operating smoothly and in constant communication with the two ground control stations at Betbunia in Rangamati and Gazipur. He said that the maker of the satellite, Thales Alenia Space, is expected to handover complete control of the satellite to Bangladesh this September.