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Nigeria to launch two new communication satellites

Felix Oloyede

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Nigeria to launch two new communication satellites

Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, NigComSat has announced plans to launch two new satellites, NigComSat-2 by 2023 and NigComSat-3 by 2025.

The two satellites will replace NigComSat 1R expected to expire in 2026.

The Managing Director, Dr Abimbola Alale disclosed this at the 2021 edition of the NIGCOMSAT Stakeholders Forum in Lagos, South-West Nigeria.

Speaking Alade said “l am pleased to inform stakeholders of our desire to acquire more satellites between now and 2025 with the NigComSat-2 (Hight Throughput Satellite) due for launch in 2023 while NigComSat-3 will be launched in 2025,”

She added that “This will not only inspire confidence in our customers and channel partners but will also place NIGCOMSAT Ltd in the front line of communication satellite operators with a fleet of satellites in the orbit.”

She revealed that the NigComSat-2 project is still in its preliminary phase as only the Request for Proposals (RFP) has been sent out.

NigComSat-2, a High throughput satellite (HTS) with a total throughput of 300 Gbps, will be launched as a public-private partnership (PPP).

The satellite will also include triband spacecraft – C band for Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) systems to provide the most vital telecommunication link between a satellite and ground station; Ka-band; and Ku-band.

The orbital slot for the NigComSat-2 will either be 9.5 degrees west or 16 degrees west, based on the orbital filling with International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

She also added that the communication satellite will have several applications spanning direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting service, telemedicine, Tele-education, broadband services and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

She highlighted NIGCOMSAT recent activities, including actions taken to reposition the company for better service delivery, training of 600 youth in 12 states of the federation on VSAT and TVRO installations skills.

According to Dr Alale, “Satellite communication is a technology associated with rapid changes, hence, NIGCOMAT continues to build capacity that matches global trends and requirements.”

She acknowledged the strategic vision of Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, towards building a digital Nigeria and repositioning the Departments and Agencies under his supervision, to be among the major contributors to the nation’s economy.

Dr Alade said, “Last year, NIGCOMSAT with the support of some of the stakeholders sponsored four (4) teams (Astromania, Floews, Future Generations, and Pyloops) to compete in the ActInSpace® international innovation contest of 100 cities across 5 continents.

“Nigeria however won the audience award, which was based on the popularity of the video created by Team Astromania to provide information about their solution.

“Quality of service and customers’ experience is very important in service delivery. NIGCOMSAT has acquired the latest DIALOG HUB with 5IF for the satellite broadband Ka services as well as building a stronger relationship with our channel partners. Our business processes are seamless in accordance with International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification”.

The MD said that NIGCOMSAT, in its bid to achieve its ambition as the be the leading satellite communication solutions provider in Nigeria and Africa, obtained approval in early 2020 to form two subsidiary companies (SUBCOs) the Satellite Infrastructure Company SIC to provide satellite upstream services such as Transponder leasing, and In-Orbit-(IOT) services, Carrier Spectrum Management (CSM) services etc. & the Satellite Broadcasting and Broadband Company (SBBC) to provide satellite downstream services such as broadband internet services, Broadcasting (DTH) services etc.

“The SUBCOs were formed to carryout commercial businesses on behalf of NIGCOMSAT with strategic partners and expand its business operations and in the information & communications technology space, NIGCOMSAT realizes the need to strategically position its subsidiaries for potential opportunities and risks, put in place operational structures to facilitate its business aspirations”.

She disclosed that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has given the company a set of KPIs that are linked to the development of a strategic document that identifies the key market opportunities and risks in the Nigerian market as well as defines the SUBCO’s operational framework

Dr Alade further said, the Special Project Office of NIGCOMSAT Ltd has successfully deployed modest and ubiquitous services to the health sector by providing an e- platform for automation of work processes at National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) offices across the country.

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