Bangladesh has taken control of its first geostationary satellite six months after it was launched into space. Manufacturer Thales Alenia Space formally transferred Bangabandhu Satellite-1’s full ownership and control to Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited in Dhaka on Friday. The French firm’s Gilles Obadia handed the “Transfer of Title” documents to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Acting Chairman Jahurul Haque who later handed those to BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
The government appointed US-based Space Partnership International to design the satellite in 2012. Later, the BTRC signed an over Tk 19.51 billion deal with Thales Alenia for the satellite system.
A SpaceX rocket blasted off carrying the satellite into orbit early on May 12 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Post, Telecommunication and IT Minister Mustafa Jabbar told the event marking the transfer of the satellites control that it would be remembered as a day of pride.
“The achievement and pride is more important than what financial gains we can derive from the satellite,” he said.
BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan thanked Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the ICT affairs adviser to the prime minister, for his role in the launch of the satellite.
The satellite contains 40 transponders; Bangladesh will use 20 and rent out the rest, according to Shahjahan.
“Our spendings will be offset in a short period of time. I hope we will hit the stock market in next two to three years,” he added.
Post and Telecommunication Secretary Shyam Sunder Sikder and French Ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin were also present among others.