Vinasat-2 to start service in Q3
By Van Oanh - The Saigon Times Daily
HANOI – The telecom satellite Vinasat-2 of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) will start leasing its capacity in the third quarter of 2012, following its successful launch on Wednesday morning.
Ho Cong Lam, deputy director of Vietnam Telecom International Co. (VTI), a VNPT subsidiary in charge of operating the satellite, said VNPT had kicked off a marking campaign for Vinasat-2 a year ago.
Lam said the satellite had attracted both local and foreign clients, including the current customers of Vinasat-1 and the new ones. Still, he declined to reveal the specific names.
Although VNPT also targets clients in the regional countries, the State-run group pays more attention to the domestic market.
VNPT deputy general director Phan Hoang Duc said it will take ten years to recover the investment capital in Vinasat-2, which has a life span of 15 years like the first telecom satellite. The total satellite capacity rents of Vietnamese customers are estimated at US$10-15 million a year.
Lam said after four years of operation, Vinasat-1 is now running at 90% capacity. It is expected that Vinasat-1 will bring in VND250 billion this year, excluding a 30% capacity used for VNPT’s own services.
Duc unveiled VNPT’s plan to invest in the third satellite in the next 3-4 years.
Regarding the launch on Wednesday, sources from VNPT said the first signal from the satellite had been transmitted back to earth on Wednesday.
Bui Quoc Viet, director of the Information Center under VNPT, told local media that the satellite would be orbiting around the earth for the next ten days before it achieves stable operation. The contractor Lockheed Martin would hand over the satellite control to VNPT in early July.
VNPT has invested US$280 million in Vinasat-2. The satellite applies A2100A frame technology, one of the most advanced satellite technologies at present.
Similar to Vinasat-1, Vinasat-2 is produced by the U.S. aerospace firm Lockheed Martin and was launched on an Arian 5 rocket made by Arianespace at Kouru space launch site in Guyana, South America. The two satellites provide coverage over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore and a part of Malaysia.
Because the two satellites are in close orbits with each other, customers can use the same satellite dish to receive signals from both of them.
Vinasat-2 is designed with 30 Ku-band transponders (36MHz bandwidth), with a transmission capacity equivalent to 13,000 voice channels or some 150 TV channels.
Vinasat-2, together with Vinasat-1, will form a system of satellites capable of enhancing safety and stability when providing satellite services to customers. In addition, the two telecom satellites will help strengthen the national network security and offer general benefits to the community.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, after watching the launch at VNPT headquarters on Wednesday, said the launch of Vinasat-2 is an important step further on the route to make Vietnam a strong country in information technology and telecommunications.
The Vinasat-1 and Vinasat-2 projects have great political and socio-economic meanings, affirming the sovereignty of Vietnam in space and promoting the image of the country in the international arena, said the Prime Minister.
Vu Tuan Hung, general director of VNPT, said the launch of Vinasat-2 is aimed at the national strategic target to enhance the capacity of telecommunication infrastructure, satisfy the demand for satellite capacity rental and efficiently exploit the satellite frequency and orbit resources that Vietnam has registered at 131.8 degrees east.
Vinasat-2 is also designed to serve the sea economic development strategy of Vietnam, says a report on the Government web portal www.chinhphu.vn .