Nigeria’s communications satellite expires in seven years — NigComSat

The lifecycle of Nigeria’s only communications satellite, NigComSat-1R, will end in seven years, the management of Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited, managers of the satellite, has said.

Executive Director, Engineering Services at NigComSat Limited, Mr Raji Kolawole, said this while welcoming the company’s resellers and channel partners at its Resellers Forum hosted in Abuja.

Kolawole, however, assured that the company was exploring avenues to acquire two more satellites as the government had directed it to explore private sector sources for the funds required for the construction of the additional satellites.

He said if properly utilised, the communications satellite also had the capacity to help the country to check the incidents of kidnapping and terrorism, which had become endemic in recent times.

Kolawole said, “The present satellite has about seven years to the end of life. For business continuity, we are collaborating with the private sector to acquire two additional satellites.

“The reason the Federal Government declared NigComSat1R as a national priority project is because of the navigation overly on our satellite, which basically is for security purposes, to curb kidnapping, terrorism and the likes.

“Now at the moment, we are working with security agencies to use the satellite to curb incessant kidnapping around the country.”

NigComSat-1R with a lifespan of 15 years, was launched into the orbit on December 19, 2011, as a replacement of Nigeria’s first communication satellite, which developed a power problem in the orbit on November 8, 2008 and was consequently de-orbited.

The first satellite was constructed by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation, utilising a loan of $200m provided by the Chinese government and some counterpart funding provided by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the forum, Managing Director of the company, Abimbola Alale, who was represented by Executive Director, Support Services, Alhaji Muhammad Lema, urged the resellers to work hard to break the dominance of the satellite market in the country by foreign satellite operators.

She said, “As operators of the communications’ satellite business, we have taken the hard reality as a task by refocusing our direction towards retooling our equipment for better service delivery.

“This we have done on both our ground control stations here in Abuja and Kashi in People’s Republic of China. The ground stations have been equipped with modern and up- to -date facility to ensure better service second to none in the country.”

Alale added, “Therefore, it has become necessary for us to meet with all resellers to re-strategise and focus for a better result. Our focus should be more on enterprise connectivity, mobility networks and other areas, which we must expand beyond the present state.

“We urge our resellers to work hard to take Nigeria to the next level in this business. It is our duty that our connectivity to every industry, whether big or small, local or international, will be achieved within a limited time possible to propel our economic growth.”

Executive Director, Business Development, Mr Samsom Osagie, said the company would not only extend broadband Internet services to rural communities working with resellers but also extend services beyond the shores of the country.
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