State-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) has started broadcasting in Middle Eastern and North African countries to meet the special interest of local viewers, especially expatriate Bangladeshis, using Bangabandhu satellite.
Bangladesh's lone satellite "Bangabandhu-I" in collaboration with Thaicom-6, a Thai satellite of the Thaicom series, has made the arrangement for BTV's satellite based-branch, BTV World, said, officials.
Talking to BSS, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood today said: "The experimental transmission of BTV World started at about 1:00 am on April 10 to the Middle Eastern and North African Countries using Bangabandhu-I."
BCSCL, another state-owned company assigned to operator Bangabandhu-I, has taken the initiative as out of around 1 crore expatriate Bangladeshis almost 70 per cent lives in Middle Eastern and North African countries, he said.
"Initially, we are working on BTV World and upon the result of the experimental period, we would start the process for other private television channels of the country for Middle East, North Africa and other regions," said Dr Mahmood, replying to a query on BCSCL's future plan.
Regarding the agreement with Thaicom-6, he said an open tender would be floated after the experimental transmission. "We would sign an agreement with the lowest bidder in the tender."
THAICOM 6 is co-located with Thaicom 5 at 78.5 degrees east in geostationary orbit, carrying 18 active C-band transponders and 8 active Ku-band transponders.
Commercial operation of Bangabandhu-I (BS-I) began May 19 last year following a successful trial run. All local television channels are connected
with BS-I's ground station through optical fibre for transmission, as installation of earth station requires a big cost for TVs.
The BS-I launched to the orbit on May 12, 2018, went to the trial transmission on September 4 last year through the broadcasting of South Asian
Football Federation (SAFF) Championship with BTV.
Besides, commercial service of the country's first local Direct-To-Home (DTH) television also began on May 19 last year.
Moreover, the BS-I is working to connect automated teller machines (ATM) of different banks to offer uninterrupted and secure banking services.
French manufacturer Thales Alenia Space launched the BS-I in May 12 from Florida of America at a cost of Taka 2,765 crore and according to the plan, it will reach break-even 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.
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.
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.