Russian Satellite Communications Company, a national space communications operator, is launching four satellites which will be capable of providing communication services to India. One satellite will have planned downlink coverage to service the Indian zone under the Ku-band. The other three satellites will have steerable beam and will be able to cover the Indian footprint. The satellites are designed to provide a package of communication services including TV broadcasting, telephony, video-conferencing, data transmission, Internet access and deploy satellite networks by applying VSAT technology.
“We are targeting TV broadcasters and bandwidth consumers. The satellites can also be utilised for offering telemedicine facilities,” said Russian Satellite Communications Company marketing manager Sergey Tsekhmistrov.
The first of the four satellites will be launched in December and will provide communications and uniform coverage in Ku-band. Located in geostationary orbit at 53 degree East, the 24-transponder satellite will have a 12-year life. It will have a steerable beam to India. The second satellite, to be launched in March 2004, will have 26 transponders in C-band and 4 in Ku-band. The third launch will be in August 2004 and will have a fixed beam to the Indian zone in the Ku-band. The satellite, scheduled for a launch in December 2004, will have a steerable beam in the C and Ku-bands. The company is also planning to launch another satellite, but this will not cover India.
“The cost of the five satellites is $860 million. We are planning to sell 30 per cent of our satellite capacity abroad. Earlier, most of the capacity was consumed within our country. We have started the process of marketing satellite capacity overseas,” said Mr Tsekhmistrov. “We are aware that transponders are very cheap in India. We have taken that into account and will have prices adopted to the local market,” he said.