BARELY a week after its launch in Xicheng, China, Nigeria’s replacement satellite, NigComSat-1R has started attracting customers.
Disclosing this at the weekend in Abuja, the Managing Director of NigComSat Ltd, Mr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, said that presently the Ghanaian government, through its Ministry of Communications, has requested the Federal Government to grant it access to some NigComSat-1R facilities.
He said that NigComSat had received a request from Ghana to provide access to two transponders on the satellite.
Besides, he added that countries including, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Congo, South Africa among others are also in the race to have access to the communication satellites.
According to him, the satellite had capacity to cover over 40 African countries and six European countries, adding that the facility would enable these countries to benefit from the key deliverables of the satellites, including telecommunications, broadcasting and Tele-presence (Tele-Education, Tele-Medicine, e-Government, e-Commerce).
Continuing, Rufai said that the new communication satellite had a minimum life span of 15 years with payloads of seven antennae and 28 transponders and extra 12 transponders to address redundancy.
He also said: “We are to sell satellite-based solutions, which come from an institution that is home-grown. We are the only satellite operator in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our satellite is designed for Nigeria and Africa, but it is globally-positioned. We have been reaching out to our customers since the pre-launch marketing campaign.”
Ahmed-Rufai said that the satellite would begin full commercial operation before the end of February 2012.
He said that the replacement satellite would provide bandwidth access to over 60 per cent of government ministries, departments and agencies, adding that they were ready to migrate to the new satellite.
Ahmed-Rufai added that NigComSat was already in talks with the Nigerian Television Authority, Nigeria Postal Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Immigration Service, security operatives and several Internet Service Providers for their quick migration on to the satellite.
He said: “Based on the excellent performance of the NigComSat-1, customers are interested in the replacement NigComSat-1R. Many of them are ready to migrate from their existing providers. 60 per cent of government entities have expressed interest in the satellite’s services.
The NigComSat boss said that government agencies and other business enterprises would benefit from the satellite through reduction in the cost of bandwidth acquisition, which was costing the nation about N75 billion yearly.
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