Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 18-09-2011

Pakistan’s first communications satellite PAKSAT-1R will start commercial operations next month, bringing improvements to the South Asian country’s broadcast and broadband capabilities.

The satellite was successfully launched to an orbital location of 38 degrees East in August, and from October will provide both C and Ku-band coverage to 75 countries across south and central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

As well as reaching further afield, the satellite extends communication services to every area of Pakistan, and has already notched up over 45 customers, including broadcasters and telecommunications companies such as Mobilink – according to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

“It will not only play important role in socio-economic development of the country but will also provide educational opportunities, better health services, stimulate private sector business and investment,” said the news agency.

Arshad H Siraj, secretary of the Pakistan Space Agency SUPARCO is reported as saying by APP that Pakistan sees PAKSAT-1R as not only a communication tool, but as “a unique opportunity to bring meaningful change” in the lives of its people – by providing improved communication, healthcare, education and governance to rural areas.

“Under the vision 2040 of Pakistan’s Space Programme, many more satellites will be launched, which will help to improve socio-economic condition of the country,” Mr Siraj is quoted as saying in The Nation.

PAKSAT-1R comprises 18 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders, weighs 5,115 kg and is based on the DongFangHong-4 platform.