NigComSat Denies Plans To Acquire Two New Satellites At $701m

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Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) said it has no plan to acquire two new satellites at $701 million.

NigComSat in a statement issued by its Head of Public Affairs, Adamu Idris said discussions on the launch of two satellites have not been concluded.

The statement however confirmed that the inauguration of a multi-million dollars Satellite System for the Government of Belarus would be carried out as planned.

Named as Belintersat-1 Satellite and operated under the auspices of NigComSat-1R, the Satellite system would be launched on January 16, 2016 in China.

The Managing Director of NigComSat, Mrs Abimbola Alale insisted that the NigComSat-1 which was reported to have been lost in space in 2007 after 18 months of operation was only de-orbited because of technical challenges especially power supply, stressing that the new NigComSat-1R is a direct replica of it with similar functions.

According to her, NigComSat-1R launched in 2011 was built from the proceeds of the fully insured NigComSat-1 without any additional cost to the federal government.

She maintained that NigComSat -1R which has being in space in the past four years would support the activities of China Great Wall Industries Corporation, CGWIC, by providing necessary facilities to test communication payload of the Belintersat-1 Satellite over Africa using its ground station infrastructures located in Abuja.

NigComSat-1R will also provide CSM services to monitor the performance of Belintersat-1 and transmit the data in real-time to Belarus for the life of the satellite, Mrs Alale said.

The Managing Director further stated that besides other traditional services to various institutions including universities in the country, banks, security agencies, and the Republic of Gabon for the tracking of its rail system, NigComSat-1R facilities could also be deployed to perfect the country’s e-voting system ahead of the 2019 general elections.

She however said this could only be made possible if there is a collaboration between the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and NigComSat Limited.

She said Nigerian engineers are now fully in charge of NigComSat-1R, describing the system as “ a high-powered, hybrid (L, C, Ku and Ka Band) geostationary satellite with service life span of at least 15 years and an orbital location of 42.5 degrees east. The satellite is built with radiation-hardened technology, high reliability, on-board software re-programme ability, fault tolerance and redundant amplifiers. NigComSat-1R’s payload has active and 12 redundant transponders.”