Argentina hails Arsat-1 launch and looks to next generation
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 20 October 2014
The first Argentinean satellite, Arsat-1, has been successfully launched and put into orbit at 72° West, from where testing has started.

arsat1Over the next month, the satellite will be checked and it is scheduled to start offering telecom services before the end of the year.

The Arsat project, which includes two more satellites, aims to improve Internet services throughout the country, strengthen its DTT network and contribute to audiovisual content distribution from Argentina to the rest of Latin America and the US.

"Arsat-1 is to offer services in Argentina, where it concentrates most of its broadcasting power," Matías Bianchi, the project's president, told news agency Telam. "But nobody designs a satellite only for Argentina, it will cover a larger area."

Arsat-2 is also built and will enter a test phase before being moved to French Guyana, from where it's expected to be launched in summer 2015. While Arsat-1 is a KU-band satellite, the second device will also use C-band to reinforce audiovisual distribution. According to Bianchi, Arsat-2 will distribute all Argentinean productions, which are among the most consumed in Latin America.

Both satellites, in which $520 million has been invested, will also provide local telecom services and satellite Internet to the country's rural areas and over 2,500 schools, in addition to various other services.

The project has been designed by Arsat but has been carried by the public company Investigaciones Aplicadas (Invap), which took over seven years to build the first satellite and less than four to build the second.