Bangabandhu satellite to provide feed to DTH TV next week


DHAKA, Dec 11, 2018 (BSS) – Bangladesh’s first geostationary communication satellite Bangabandhu-I is going to provide feed to DTH (Direct to Home) services next week for the television viewers.

To this end, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) which is assigned to handle the Bangabandhu-I has decided to deploy dedicatedly two transponders of the satellite for the DTH services.

Talking to BSS today, BCSCL Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said their operation for DTH will start next week.

“The DTH operators would not require installing any separate earth station to provide the services as we would connect them with satellite through optical fiber through our ground station,” he added.

Earlier in 2013, the government awarded two DTH licenses to Beximco Communications and Buyers Media Limited. Later in 2016, Beximco introduced DTH service with the brand name “RealVU” by hiring foreign satellite.

Direct to home technology, originally referred to as Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) technology, refers to the digital satellite television broadcasting which is done directly to end users using wireless technology, eliminating the need for cables and any cable infrastructure.

Meanwhile, BCSCL has started working for the local TV channels to offer service using alternative ways which would not require any earth station.

“We would introduce alternative service for the TV channels to minimize their cost,” said Dr Mahmood.

Mentioning that installation of earth station requires a big cost for the TV channels, he said: “They would connect the TV channels with their ground station through optical fiber for transmission.”

Dr Mahmood said they would do a trial run without earth station by using “fiber optic based service” to the state-owned Bangladesh Television. “We would replicate this service gradually to the private TV stations.”

French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space last month handed over the controlling authority of Bangabandhu-I to BCSCL, which was launched by the SpaceX last May 12 from Florida to the orbit.

Besides, the trial broadcast of Bangabandhu-I has been successfully done through airing the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2018.

On starting commercial service, the Chairman of BCSCL Board said: “Our consultancy firm Thaicom would submit a market study shortly and then we would go for next course of action.”

BCSCL has hired international consultancy firm Thaicom for two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of Bangabandhu-I in six countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in around 20 countries.

Mentioning that BCSCL mobilised a good and efficient marketing team, Dr Mahmood earlier said, “Our agency will mainly concentrate on the international business rather than being engaged in local market”.

Thales launched the Bangabandhu-I in May 12 from Florida of America at a cost of Taka 2,765 crore and according to the plan, it will reach break-even within seven years of starting its commercial service using its 36 transponders.

Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, Bangabandhu-I would cover the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.

The satellite’s operations include “direct-to-home” service for TV channels, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), backhaul and network restoration, disaster preparedness and relief and many others.