Advanced Television

Iran gets ITU permission for a new satellite

July 7, 2023

By Chris Forrester

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has approved Iran’s request to place a satellite at 43.5 degrees East.

The history behind this Iranian craft goes back to 2016 and deadline after deadline missed. The concept was moving forward in 2017 when Iran signed an agreement with SES and where SES would place a temporary satellite at the 43.5 degrees East slot pending the arrival of Iran’s own satellite. That agreement failed when the US increased sanctions on Iran.

Russia’s Roscosmos stepped into the void in 2018 for a satellite to be launched by a Vostok rocket. That agreement also failed when the EU slapped its restrictions on Russia with its invasion of Ukraine.

Now, Iran has won yet another extension of the ITU’s demanding ‘Bring into Use’ requirements and the new date is set as August 31st 2024. This, by any measure, is extremely tight.

Iran has reportedly discussed with Georgia’s Asclepius Technologies and Quebec-based QSTC the prospects of co-leasing their planned joint-venture satellite.

The final portion of the Iranian challenge is getting the satellite into orbit, and in this regard the Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin is said to be prepared to undertake the launch.

The ITU’s Radio Regulations Board, in its statement, said: “The Board concluded that the situation met all the conditions and qualified as a case of force majeure and decided to accede to the request from the Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran to extend the regulatory time-limit to bring back into use the frequency assignments to the IRANSAT-43.5E satellite network.”

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