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First Afghan Satellite Launched [TOLOnews (Afghanistan)]
[May 10, 2014]

First Afghan Satellite Launched [TOLOnews (Afghanistan)]

(TOLOnews (Afghanistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) For the first time in Afghanistan telecommunication companies will be able to provide better quality service through a satellite named "AfghanSAT1" that belongs to Afghanistan, located in space, 50 degrees east.

Amirzai Sangeen, Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) said that through this satellite local channels can broadcast their programs within Afghanistan with better quality and affordable prices. Minister Sangeen adds that AfghanSAT1 will also provide the opportunity for countrymen in remote areas to have access to inexpensive phone and internet.

People from across the globe will also be able access Afghan channels through the AfghanSAT1.

During the inauguration ceremony held on Saturday, Mr. Sangeen called the event historical and explained in details the cost behind the initiative.

"We only pay $4 million annually for using this satellite instead of the rumored amount of $100 to $200 million," he said. "Annually, we will have a $15 million income from the services of this satellite." On Saturday, 10 television stations broadcasted via AfghanSAT1.

Meanwhile, the First Vice President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Younus Qanuni, calls the first satellite of Afghanistan a great achievement for Afghans.

"Through this device, Afghanistan will be able to not only cover its provinces, but also the region too," Qanuni said. "This satellite will cover the radios and TV channels of Afghanistan, South Asia and Middle East. It will not only increase the quality and number of viewers, but it will also have a significant economic impact for Afghanistan." Mr. Qanuni praised the MCIT for this momentous achievement adding that this accomplishment is an addition to their list of many triumphs in the past 12 years.

"In 2001, only 15,000 landline phones existed in Afghanistan," he said. "Today, there are more than 165,000 landlines, more than 22 million Afghans using mobile services, and another four million citizens connected to internet." AfghanSAT1 is eight years old leaving a life span of seven years, after which a second satellite by the name of AfghanSAT2 will be placed in space. Satellites working life is an average of 15 years.

MCIT purchased this satellite five months ago from a France based company known as EutelSat. EutelSat has a total of 36 satellites orbiting space.

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