Vietnam to launch first telecoms satellite in April

Vietnam, which has seen demand for telecommunications surge by about 30 percent each year, will launch its first satellite in April as part of efforts to reduce its reliance on the leasing of foreign satellites.

Vietnam to launch first telecoms satellite in April
VINASAT-I is scheduled to be launched into orbit on April 12 in French Guiana by European firm ArianeSpace, state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) said on Wednesday.

The $200-million VINASAT-I, built by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N), will have a life span of 15 to 20 years, VNPT Vice General Director Nguyen Ba Thuoc said at a press conference in Hanoi.

"Vietnam will be more active to improve network capability and quality of telecommunication, IT and communication services and to reduce the gap between cities and rural areas," he said.

VINASAT-I has a transmission capacity of 10,000 voice/Internet/Data channels or 120 television channels, VNPT said.

Demand for telecommunication services is rising fast, along with annual GDP growth of more than 8 percent, in the communist-ruled Southeast Asian country.

About 19 million people out of a population of 85 million subscribed to Internet services by the end of 2007, up nearly 30 percent from 2006 and mobile phone use is common countrywide.

Agencies
Last Mod: 13 Mart 2008, 17:00
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