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Foreign firms sign up for Lao Sat-1 satellite

Five foreign companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to rent Laos' first telecommunications satellite (Lao Sat-1) after its successful launch late last year.

After Lao Sat-1 was launched on November 21 its operations were trialled for about two months and officially began commercial service in the middle of March.

Director General of Lao Satellite State Enterprise, Dr Somnuck Phothirath told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that currently five foreign companies have signed a MoU to rent Lao Sat-1.

While other investors have shown interest in using the satellite signals to broadcast 70 channels just five foreign companies have signed up so far.

The companies are: Euronews SA, Outdoor Entertainment Network Pte Ltd, Multi Channels Asia Pte Ltd, Asia-Pacific and Beijing Luan Century Culture Development Co., Ltd.

“The final rental price for Lao Sat-1 is awaiting the agreement of the involved sector but we expect it will be cheaper than using other foreign satellites,” Dr Somnuck said.

Lao Sat-1 was successfully launched by a LM-3B launch vehicle from the Xi Chang Launch Centre in Sichuan province, China. After several orbiting manoeuvres, it was successfully parked in a 128.5 E orbit slot on November 26 last year.

The satellite is equipped with 22 transponders (14 in C-band and 8 in Ku-band) which will provide various services such as satellite transponder leasing services, satellite telecommunications and teleports, internet, satellite TV broadcasting, emergency support and other uses.

The satellite was designed, developed and delivered on-orbit by China. The total project amounted to US$259 million and was expected to have a life of about 15 years.

The satellite is designed to provide communication links for government work, television transmissions and a range of telecommunication applications in Laos. A shareholders' agreement for the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company was signed in Vientiane on October 30 between the Lao government and three Chinese developers.

The Lao government holds a 45 percent stake in the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company, while APMT has a 35 percent shareholding, SSTC has 15 percent, and APST has a 5 percent stake.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update June 22, 2016)

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