Fed Govt eyes two new satellites

The Federal Government on Thursday expressed its desire to acquire two new additional satellites to complement the existing satellite-NigComSat-1R.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Communications Satellite (NigComSat) Ltd, Dr Abimbola Alale, who gave the assurance, said the plan is that between now and 2025, two more satellites will come on stream.

Recall that NigComSat-1 was launched in China by Nasrda and it became the third African geosynchronous communication satellite when it was launched in May 2007 aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China failed and was deorbited in 2008 after running out of power due to an anomaly in its solar array.

Dr Alale, in her opening remarks at a stakeholders forum convened by the firm with ‘NIGCOMSAT Ltd, The Present and the Future’, as theme held at the Providence Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, said: “l am pleased to inform you 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.

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“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 fleet of satellites in the orbit.”

She said quality of service and customers’ experience are very important in service delivery, adding that to this end, NIGCOMSAT has acquired the latest DIALOG HUB with 5IF for the satellite broadband Ka services as well as building a stronger relationship with the channel partners. He said business processes are seamless in accordance with International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.

“NIGCOMSAT, in its bid to achieve its ambition as the leading satellite communication solutions provider in Nigeria and Africa, obtained approval 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 and the Satellite Broadcasting and Broadband Company (SBBC) to provide satellite downstream services such as broadband internet services, Broadcasting (DTH) services and others.

“The SUBCOs were formed to carryout commercial businesses on behalf of NIGCOMSAT with strategic partners and expand its business operations and in the information and 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 said.

According to her, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has given the company a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that are linked to the development of a strategic document which identifies the key market opportunities and risks in the Nigerian market as well as to define the SUBCO’s operational framework.

“More importantly, as a part of the government-to-government business, through some of the stakeholders, 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 process at National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) offices across the country.

“Also last year, NIGCOMSAT Ltd provided satellite connectivity services via NigComSat-1R for the live broadcast of the virtual commissioning of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna and Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Another milestone was achieved late last year, to be precise, in September 2020. Our collaboration with Thales Alenia Space of France, and Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) to provide a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) using NigComSat-1R Navigational services for the first time over Africa and Indian Ocean.

“The demonstration of real SBAS flight in Lome (Togo) using fixed wing Aircraft and Duoala (Cameroun), using Rotor Aircraft. Demonstration was also done in Brazzaville (Congo),” Dr Alale said.

<<The nation>>