PM opens private TV channels’ commercial transmission using BS-1

DHAKA Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated

the commercial transmission of all local private television channels using

the feed of country's first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I (BS-I) as

she addressed a function on the occasion at a city hotel.

With its inauguration, the country's broadcast industry is going to enter a

new era as the BS-I will save a huge amount of foreign currency to be paid by

local TVs as rent.

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud spoke on the occasion as the special

guest with Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar in the chair.

Secretary of Posts and Telecommunications Division Ashoke Kumar Biswas and

Chairman of the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO), a platform

of private television channel owners, Anjan Chowdhury also spoke on the

occasion.

BCSCL Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood handed over the agreement, inked with

the private television channels for their commercial transmission using the

feed of Bangabandhu Sattelite-1, to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Later the

premier handed it over to the ATCO chairman.

An audio-video presentation on the multifaceted use of the Bangabandhu

Sattelite-1 in various sectors for the country's overall development was

made.

Officials concerned said local TV channels have been receiving feed from

Apstar 7 and AsiaSat satellites in exchange of US$ 4,000 per Mega Hartz

frequency each month on an average.

Earlier on May 19, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited

(BCSCL) signed formal agreements with six local TV channels � Somoy TV,

Jamuna TV, Deepto TV, Bijoy TV, Bangla TV and MY TV � for the use of BS-I.

In addition, four channels of the state-owned BTV has been running operation

through the feed of BS-I.

All the TVs for their transmission would require the capacities of five

transponders of the BS-I.

Besides, the local D2H Akash of BEXIMCO has rented six transponders.

The BCSCL has also connected all TV channels through fiber optic cable

with its ground station instead of installing earth station to minimize the

cost of TV channel owners.

French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in November last year handed over

the controlling authority of BS-I to BCSCL, which was launched by the SpaceX

on May 12, 2018 from Florida to the orbit.

The first trial broadcast of BS-I was successfully done through airing the

South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2018.

In addition, BCSCL has hired international consultancy firm Thaicom for

two years to run marketing and sale of the connectivity of BS-I in six

countries, including four neighbours. The Thai firm is currently active in

around 20 countries.

Thales launched the BS-I at a cost of Taka 2,765 crore and according to

the plan, it will reach the break-even point within seven years of starting

its commercial service.

Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, BS-I would cover the SAARC

countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan,

Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri

Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been

chosen for business.

The satellite's operations include direct-to-home service for TV

channels, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), backhaul and network

restoration, disaster preparedness and relief and many others.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)