State-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT), which is due to launch the country’s first satellite in the second half of 2008, yesterday commenced building a satellite control station in the northern province of Ha Tay, reports local newspaper Thanh Nien. Costing an estimated VND12 billion (USD745,000), the station will be the first of two, the other being a backup to be built in Binh Duong province in the far south. VNPT expects to finish construction by August 2007. Vinasat’s coverage will extend across the entire country, into Southeast Asia, and parts of China, Korea, and Japan. The entire satellite project is expected to cost USD244 million.