Burma

Myanmar Govt to Launch Satellite, Improve Communications

By The Irrawaddy 31 July 2019

YANGON—Myanmar is planning to launch its own satellite system, Myanmar Sat 2, next week; the satellite is expected to provide a better communication system across the country, according to a communications ministry engineer. 

Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ Information Technology and Cyber Security Department U Win Aung told the government newspaper that the satellite will provide a high-speed communication system across the country, including far-flung areas. 

The satellite will reinforce the capacity of communication operators particularly in mobile and internet networks, he said.  

Myanmar Sat 2/Intelsat 39 will be launched Wednesday, Aug. 7, from a launch base of the Arianespace satellite launching company in French Guiana, the French territory in South America. 

The satellite was produced by California-based Maxar Technologies, which dispatched it to the launch site last month. 

A committee led by Vice President U Myint Swe on establishing the satellite system has been discussing the satellite’s implemention since 2017. Last year, the Department of Information Technology and Cyber Security signed an agreement with Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing Limited to launching the satellite. 

The total cost of project is $155.7 million (234.6 billion kyats), according to the Myanmar government.

Currently, Myanmar government ministries are required to use leased satellite channels from the U.S, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, which cost more than $10 million annually. 

Vice President U Myint Swe said in April that, after launching Sat 2, government ministries will be able to use communication systems more efficiently and cost effectively for education, health and other sectors on a long-term basis.

The satellite operates on the C-band and Kuband of the satellite spectrum, offering a total of 864 MHz of frequency. 

Government departments and private companies could start using the satellite system in October, U Win Aung said. 

With the Myanmar government managing its own satellite, many improvements in public service will be apparent, he added. 

According to the Arianespace website, the Myanmar Sat2/Intelsat 39 telecommunication satellite is designed with both wide and high-powered, steerable spot beams. The company’s website claims the platform will enable mobile network operators, enterprises and internet service providers to deliver faster and more efficient connections. It will also provide government entities with the ability to expand connectivity to more remote areas and continue to narrow the digital divide.

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