Eutelsat to operate satellite for Afghanistan

Afghanistan has struck a strategic partnership with satellite operator Eutelsat to provide capacity for digitial services in the country.

The Afghan ministiry of communications and information technology has signed a memorandum of understanding with Eutelsat under which the latter will deploy a satellite from next month to 48° East to deliver national coverage as well as a reach extending across central Asia and the Middle East.

The satellite, Afghansat 1, will support services including broadcasting, mobile telephony backhaul and IP connectivity.

The agreement also calls for exploration of opportunities for longer terms cooperation.

“Afghansat 1 is a new milestone in the development of the ICT sector in Afghanistan, which in the last 12 years has already seen mobile telephony coverage of 88% and penetration grow from zero to 75% through the licensing of six operators, ICT sector employment provided for more than 138,000 people and more than US$2.1 billion (€1.54 billion) invested in the national economy,” said Amrizai Sangin, Afghanistan’s minister of communications and information technology. “We are very happy to partner with Eutelsat on Afghansat 1 which will provide access to ICT and broadcast services to Afghans, especially in unserved areas, and support our vision of transforming Afghanistan into an information society.”