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After VINASAT-1, Any More To Be Launched

by Staff Writers
Nhan Dan, Vietnam (VNA) 24/01/2009
Vietnam's first telecommunications satellite VINASAT-1 was successfully launched from the Kourou spaceport in Guyana on April 19, 2008 into the orbit at 132 degrees east and was officially put into service in a safe and effective manner on May 22, 2008.
This marked a great turning point for Vietnam's telecommunications and information technology. It is also served as a base to continue to do research and consider launching many more satellites in the future. Thu Ha writes.

The successful launch of the satellite VINASAT-1 was also a memorable landmark in the process of the country's development and integration.

Since its successful lift-off, the satellite has been operating stably and its actual parameters have equalled or exceeded the design indexes.

This satellite was produced with the advanced technology and was estimated to have the ever longest life span of up to over 20 years, enabling the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group to get the return of investment capital and yield profits.

With a transmission capacity of 10,000 Internet or mobile telephone channels and 120 digital TV programmes, VINASAT-1 will help Vietnam improve the national information infrastructure, quickly accomplish the provision of the telecommunications, internet and TV services for all of the remote and far-flung, island and border areas.

Noticeably, VINASAT-1 will effectively assist in providing information for the fishermen's fishing job and for improving their lives in particular and the marine economic development in general, for the prevention and emergency rescue in case of storms, floods and other natural disasters.

According to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai, the biggest result of the project is that Vietnam's sovereignty is recognised at the geostationary satellite orbit. Operating its own satellite at the orbit shows that Vietnam is gradually keeping pace with countries in the region and the world as a whole.

There are currently about 280 commercial satellites in service, supplying a series of the telecommunications services in the international satellite information market. The Asian region alone currently owns some 80 satellites from 20 providers.

A lot of countries in the region have at least one satellite operating, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.

Deputy director of Vietnam Telecom International (VTI) Lam Quoc Cuong said that since the VINASAT-1 satellite was put into operation, VTI has co-ordinated with the Vietnam Television to successfully broadcast TV channels VTV1, VTV2, VTV3 and VTV4 across the country and to several countries in the Asia-Pacific region through using VINASAT-1.

Meanwhile, VTI has shifted VSAT channels using services provided by foreign satellites to using services supplied by the VINASAT-1 such as channels to Spratly archipelago and offshore oil rigs.

In addition, a series of memoranda of understandings on exploiting the satellite's transmission capacity have been signed by VTI and its customers including the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC), the Voice of Vietnam, the Binh Duong Television, the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City and the Global Telecommunications Corporation (GTel).

VTI is not only seeking domestic customers but also keeping contacts with the some potential foreign partners about the possibility of trading VINASAT-1 satellite services in the Asia-Pacific region.

So, apart from the satellite's capacity being reserved for the public activities, its total remaining capacity for trading is 9.5 Ku-band transponders and 3.4 C-band transponders. This remaining capacity has been basically registered thus far and will be put into service from the early second quarter of the year 2009.

Currently, the registered customers are in the phase of investment and technical upgrading so as to adapt to VINASAT-1 services. If these works are done in accordance with the approved implementation, it is estimated that the whole Ku frequency band will be completely exploited in 2009 and the whole C frequency band in 2010.

It can be seen that the prospect for doing business in services provided by the satellite VINASAT-1 is positive. This has created a foundation for Vietnam to continue to do research and consider launching the second telecommunications satellite into the orbit. Especially, Vietnam has just registered with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) three more orbital positions.

So, at present, Vietnam has occupied four orbital positions in total at the geostationary orbit. These three new positions include 107 degrees east, 126 degrees east and 131.8 degrees east.

According to the stipulation for registering with the ITU, if no Vietnamese satellite is to be launched into the orbit from now to 2012, the said three positions will belong to other countries.

The experience from satellite service providers worldwide shows that it is necessary to have the next satellite generations at once so as to have a reserve as well as to deploy services. The four-year remaining period to prepare all documents for any registration for launching the next satellite is very short, so it is necessary to rapidly study the implementation of the VINASAT-2 satellite project.

This is an urgent and necessary work because it takes at least over two years to produce one satellite and at the same time, so doing, we can avoid any difficulties and risks caused by the possible implementation of the project in a hurry.

The mentioned three newly-registered positions are Vietnam's invaluable frequency band resources. Currently, many foreign partners are expressing their wish to lease these orbital positions

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