Nepal has already ventured into space with its NepaliSat-1, also known as Bird NPL. It is the first satellite of Nepal.
Bird NPL reached the International Space Station on 19 April 2019, to be deployed later, and estimated to revolve around the Earth for six months. Following this, now Nepal telecom is also launching a Nepali satellite! Let’s see why this is big news.
Nepal Telecom Authority has decided to launch the satellite in space as part of the government’s policy of installing its own Nepali satellite in space within the next two years.
The reason this is great news is that finally after nearly four decades of being allotted its own geostationary orbital slot, Nepal Telecommunication Authority is preparing to put up its own satellite. The slot was given to Nepal by the International Telecommunication Union in 1984.
Launching the satellite before was not possible due to traffic. But with the increase in connectivity and new telecommunications policy, we can now use our right in space!
WHY THIS IS HUGE?
There are obviously going to be some benefits to ensue with this great step.
There are some great economic plus points in Nepal’s side. Although the economic aspect of this project may not be obvious.
This saves the country billions annually from broadband satellite links for telecommunication, broadcasts, and aviation.
Min Bahadur Aryal of NTA says that Nepal will save billions of rupees. Currently Nepal is spending billions to rent satellite channels for television broadcasts, DTH, internet, and phone links to remote mountain areas, as well as military and security communications. He said the bandwidth would also increase with Nepal’s own satellite, improving the quality and reliability of signals.
Social and equality factor is also uncovered by this satellite. Another huge benefit of this satellite is that places in Nepal which were not covered by the current telecommunications like Karnali and Accham will now be able to connect to the internet. This is a great sigh of relief for the people in these places being deprived of the magic of the internet!
How is the NTA planning?
Nepal has asked for bids from companies that can tell on specifications of the geostationary satellite provider, its business viability. As well as draw up a regulatory framework as we do need some help for such a big project.
There have already been nine international companies from China, India, the UK, France, Singapore, UAE, and Germany. They have submitted Expressions of Interest to the NTA for consultancy services. Aryal said the selection will be shortlisted based 50% on experience, 40% on qualification, and 10% on technical and financial capacity.
NTA launching Nepali satellite is a big step forward! This provides the country and its people with many benefits as discussed above. This also paves the way for further new and innovative projects to follow!