Nepal is looking to order its own communications satellite. More than two years ago it made a ‘Request for Proposals’ from the world’s leading satellite builders, and now has committed to French prime contractor Thales Alenia Space.
Reportedly there’s no cash on the table just yet, but a Letter of Intent, signed in Paris on March 5th between Nepal’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been expanded to an agreement between Thales Alenia and the Nepalese Telecommunications Authority.
The plan is for a satellite to be built and launched during 2022 and carrying a payload of C-band and Ku-band capacity, and placed into one of Nepal’s authorised slots at 123.3 degrees East. Nepal has another orbital position at 50 degrees East as yet unfilled.
There is an element of uncertainty as to whether Nepal will take all the capacity itself, or bring in a ‘partner’ to wholesale excess capacity.