Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bangladesh satellite orbital position opposed by United States, other countries

SALEEM SAMAD


Bangladesh ambition space program to launch a communication satellite has drawn cold shoulder from 20 countries, including United States, Russia, France and Australia.

The country’s $150 million plan to launch a satellite by 2015 now seems to be uncertain.

The officials said on Monday that the countries opposed the Bangladesh satellite orbital position, as state telecommunication regulator applied for approval to send the satellite in 102 degree slot.
The state Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC)  said they have applied to ITU (International Telecommunications Union) to send the satellite named after independence hero “Bangabandhu” for 102 degree slot.

The countries who raised the objections argued that the Bangladesh request the position of the satellite likely to have frequency problem.

Space Partnership International (SPI), the U.S. based space satellite consultant for Bangladesh is working to enable that both parties could be benefited.

Bangladesh has alternative plan to send satellite at 69 degree east slot if it is refused the 102 degree orbit. However, ITU will give final decision regarding slot approval.
On the other hand, if Bangladesh is given the 69 degree slot, then Malaysia, Singapore, China are likely to raise objections, BTRC chairman Major General Zia Ahmed said.

Bangladesh spends $ 11-million annually for renting satellite for the local satellite television channels, telephone and radio.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com