Bangabandhu Satellite

Taking us to new heights

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BS-1), the country’s first geostationary communication and broadcasting satellite, will begin its commercial operations from next week. BS-1 has already stepped into the second year of its operation. 

BS-1 made agreement with virtually every satellite television channel in the country. All television channels will start broadcasting through the BS-1 from May 19. The TV channels will now pay $2000 per megahertz bandwidth which they previously paid to foreign satellite companies. As a result, Bangladesh will be saving foreign currency as the money will no longer be flowing out of the country. Furthermore, the physical transponders will be rented out in order to earn foreign revenue. 

It is a welcome move, as the country is now taking fledgling steps towards self-sufficiency in each and every sector. It is a matter of great national pride that we will now be broadcasting and communicating through our own satellite. Our small nation has joined the elite Space Club of 57 nations despite having much fewer resources than other countries. The government has taken a bold step towards embracing modern technology, which no previous ruling government has even dreamt of doing. 

The government has taken a bold 

step towards embracing modern 

technology, which no previous 

ruling government has even

 dreamt of doing.

Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) is also working to bring online money transaction through ATM booths under the satellite’s services. If all ATM booths in the country can be brought under the network, it will greatly increase cyber security in banking. 

Another great initiative under the BS-1 project is the surveillance of fishing vessels in the sea in order to facilitate marine fisheries management. Bangladesh is the third largest fish producing country in the world with annual production of about 38 lakh tonnes. Of this, 17 percent is collected from the sea. A large portion of our GDP is therefore reliant on seafood. The government is now planning to improve and develop this sector further using BS-1. 

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), including software, hardware, and transponders, and Automatic Identification System (AIS) will be used to monitor the Bay of Bengal. The AIS, in particular, is expected to significantly improve search and rescue capabilities, which will save the lives of thousands of fishermen as climate change has left Bangladesh more prone to natural disasters.

The huge undertaking by the government to launch the Bangabandhu Satellite is paying off already.  The people of the country will very soon be able to reap the benefits of having our own satellite. If all the projects currently undertaken by BCSCL are completed and implemented efficiently, we will be making huge strides in the overall progress of our nation.