PM opens private TV channels’ commercial transmission using BS-1

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DHAKA, Oct 2, 2019 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated
the commercial transmission of all local private television channels using
the feed of country’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I (BS-I) as
she addressed a function on the occasion at a city hotel.

With its inauguration, the country’s broadcast industry is going to enter a
new era as the BS-I will save a huge amount of foreign currency to be paid by
local TVs as rent.

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud spoke on the occasion as the special
guest with Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar in the chair.

Secretary of Posts and Telecommunications Division Ashoke Kumar Biswas and
Chairman of the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO), a platform
of private television channel owners, Anjan Chowdhury also spoke on the
occasion.

BCSCL Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood handed over the agreement, inked with
the private television channels for their commercial transmission using the
feed of Bangabandhu Sattelite-1, to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Later the
premier handed it over to the ATCO chairman.

An audio-video presentation on the multifaceted use of the Bangabandhu
Sattelite-1 in various sectors for the country’s overall development was
made.

Officials concerned said local TV channels have been receiving feed from
Apstar 7 and AsiaSat satellites in exchange of US$ 4,000 per Mega Hartz
frequency each month on an average.

Earlier on May 19, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited
(BCSCL) signed formal agreements with six local TV channels — Somoy TV,
Jamuna TV, Deepto TV, Bijoy TV, Bangla TV and MY TV — for the use of BS-I.
In addition, four channels of the state-owned BTV has been running operation
through the feed of BS-I.

All the TVs for their transmission would require the capacities of five
transponders of the BS-I.

Besides, the local D2H Akash of BEXIMCO has rented six transponders.

The BCSCL has also connected all TV channels through fiber optic cable
with its ground station instead of installing earth station to minimize the
cost of TV channel owners.

French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in November last year handed over
the controlling authority of BS-I to BCSCL, which was launched by the SpaceX
on May 12, 2018 from Florida to the orbit.

The first trial broadcast of BS-I was successfully done through airing the
South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2018.

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

Thales launched the BS-I at a cost of Taka 2,765 crore and according to
the plan, it will reach the break-even point within seven years of starting
its commercial service.

Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, BS-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.

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