Nepal considers feasibility of launching own satellite

5 Aug 2013

The government of Nepal is considering hiring in a consultant to carry out a feasibility study into the proposed launch of the country’s own satellite to take the orbital slot it has been allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). According to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), the ITU has made it a mandatory requirement that Nepal claim its slot – allocated at either 50 degrees east or 123.3 degrees east (in 1984) – by 2015. As such, MoIC joint secretary Narayan Sanjel will now head up a five-member committee to carry out the study using as estimated NPR100 million (USD1.04 million) of this year’s budget, to consider the size of the investment that would be required, and business models for launching commercial broadcasting and/or defence, telecommunications and weather forecasting services, amongst others. The panel will include one member each from the regulator, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and Nepal Television. The study is expected to start within the next twelve months, once a consultant has been hired, with initial estimates putting a cost of NPR35 billion on launching the new satellite.