News - Afghanistan
The building of Afghanistan's first ever space satellite will be underway within the next six months, according to Afghanistan's Minister of Communication and Information Technology Amir Zai Sangin.
Sangin said on Sunday that the government was opening for tender a contract for a company to build and launch the country's first satellite, a project which would give Afghanistan a greater connection to the world.
He said the budget for the project is expected to be between $200 million and $300 million, with a two- to three-year time frame for its design and construction until its launch.
"We will start the installation process of the satellite very soon. It's our priority to solve broadcasting issues and bring all our districts under coverage," Sangin said at the press conference.
It will be used for providing telecommunications needs, TV, radio, data, inter governmental links, and will the enable production of digital broadcasting for Afghan media - a government priority, he added.
The satellite's capabilities will be sold to both the private and government sector, Sangin told TOLOnews.
It will also service four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia, so it will be useful for other countries as well in communicating with each other, he said.
He emphasised that the country was facing a shortage of frequencies for TV stations, but the new satellite would help resolve the problem once digital broadcasting was introduced.
The position of the satellite will be 50 degrees East in a geo-stationary orbit above Afghanistan (it will rotate with the earth's rotation, but it will remain above Afghanistan).
Meanwhile, Afghan internet providers will be issued ‘Wimax' licenses, Sangin said, adding that it would give Afghans access to faster internet services.
"By distributing Wimax and 3G licenses, the problem of slow internet connections will be tackled," he told reporters.