Belintersat-1 launched, NIGCOMSAT to provide specialised services
Nigeria is negotiating with China on possible new satellites for Nigeria Communication Satellite limited (NIGCOMSAT) and support for its ground station improvement.
NIGCOMSAT is the Nigerian Satellite Communication Company and Operator of NigComSat-1R Satellite under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications.
In a bid to further develop the telecommunications industry in Nigeria as well as attract investors, Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, led a delegation to China.
The visit coincided with the launch of Belintersat-1 Satellite by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), which NIGCOMSAT will be providing In-orbit Testing Services (IoT), and Spectrum Management Services (SMS).
NIGCOMSAT won the bid to provide Carrier Spectrum Management (CSM) and In-Orbit Testing (IoT) services for Belintersat-1, a satellite owned by the Republic of Belarus. NIGCOMSAT is the first satellite company in Africa to win a bid to provide such services.
The Belintersat-1 Satellite was successfully launched in the early hours (about 1.30am) of Saturday, January 16th 2016 China time. (6.30pm Friday January 15 Nigerian time)
Manager, Internal Communications, Public Affairs Department of NIGCOMSAT Limited, Hadiza Baloni-Oniyangi, in a statement, noted: “At different meetings with the President of the China Great Wall Industries Corporation CGWIC, Mr. Yin Liming and President of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Mr. Wu Yansheng, there were discussions and negotiations on possible new communication satellites for NIGCOMSAT and support for its ground station improvement. Deliberations also centered around developing partnerships through NIGCOMSAT’s operations which include a back-up satellite, Direct-to-Home (DTH) platform, the highly sort after navigation services (the L-Band which is on NIGCOMSAT 1R) and most importantly, capacity building and training of Nigerian engineers.
“Since he assumed office, the Communications Minister, has expressed determination to deepen broadband penetration and make the telecommunications sector an active and vibrant sector that will contribute significantly to national socio-economic growth and development in view of its vast potentials.”
According to the statement, the IOT and CSM will be a source of revenue generation for NIGCOMSAT Limited, which in turn will be part of the non- oil revenue generation source for Nigeria.
It noted: “It will be a source of capacity building for Nigerian engineers of NIGCOMSAT Limited as they will be exposed to a multi task management of various Networks.
“A significant advantage is the long term benefit which will come based on the International outlook the company has earned by doing IOT and CSM for Belarus Satellite with a potential benefit of competing in International market.
“Since the CSM requires a routine activity, the company will hire engineers that will be trained among others to assist as support engineers in the company which in turn will reduce un-employment in Nigeria.
“The two companies NIGCOMSAT Limited and Belintersat will benefit from exchange technical program which can lead to technology transfer in the future.
“This will raise the Profile of NigComSat by giving us opportunity for doing more complex task for other satellite companies and earning revenue and a source of networking with other professionals within the Satellite Industry as well as familiarization with current global trends in conducting CSM. Since the revenue generation is in United States Dollars (USD) it will be like a source of foreign currency for Nigeria. It is an alternative source of bandwidth when NigComSat Payload is fully populated.