The country’s first satellite Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BCSCL) has a monthly income of more than Tk 100 million in proportion to the amount of capacity sold since its launch. In the last two years, the revenue from Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has been around Tk 250 crore
According to the data, the price of satellite bandwidth has decreased all over the world. They are not likely to earn much from the international market. Even then, a DTH company in Nepal and another company in the Philippines are in talks to buy 9 transponders from Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has a total of 40 transponders including C band and KU band.
Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) Chairman. Shahjahan Mahmud told, ‘Bangabandhu is earning around Tk 125 crore a year through satellite. Hopefully the income will increase further in the future. New technologies are being introduced worldwide. Our country has also advanced a lot in technology. Recently, Nepal and the Philippines have shown interest in taking services from Bangabandhu Satellite. Talks are still going on with them.
He said, “At present, 35 TV channels of the country are broadcasting through Bangabandhu Satellite.” Since the realization of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 in February 2019, about 30 percent of the capacity of this state-of-the-art satellite has been sold so far. Some more parts are in the process of selling capacity. I hope more capacity will be sold if the Corona situation is normal.
The state-owned company said that even if they could earn only Tk 15 crore a month from the remaining three-quarters of the capacity, the full cost of the project would go up in just nine years. The lifespan of a satellite is usually 15 years. Earlier, when it was planned, it was estimated that the cost would rise within eight years.
Meanwhile, talking to officials of different channels of the country, it is learned that the TV channels have to buy two modulators to use Bangabandhu Satellite-1. One for Gazipur ground station and another for Betbunia station. In order to avoid incurring this additional cost on TV channels, BCSCL has reduced the frequency fares of their satellites.
Currently TV channels run on five to six MHz frequencies. For every MHz you have to pay four thousand dollars per month. In the case of Bangabandhu Satellite, it has been reduced from four thousand dollars to two thousand 618 dollars. In the second year, BCSCL has fixed the rent at three thousand five hundred dollars. TV channels had to spend Rs 13 to 25 lakh per month using foreign satellites. And the satellite will have to pay 12 to 16 lakh rupees per month.