Bolivia's Tupac Katari satellite to generate $26MN in 2016

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 25 June 2015

Having already racked up $16 million since it was launched a year and a half ago, Bolivia's first national satellite Tupac Katari is to be completely profitable in 2016, when it's expected to start generating over $26 million.

According to Iván Zambrana, director of Bolivia's Space Agency (ABE), speaking to the newspaper Jornada, the satellite company generated $10 million during 2014 -it was launched from China's Xichang base December 20, 2013- and $6 million more during the first half of 2015. Through the coming months, it's expected to be creating income of between $1.5 and $2 million per month.

According to Zambrana, the ABE needs to invoice around $20 million a year for the satellite to be profitable, an amount which is to be overcome from 2016, when it will be generating $26 million. The satellite, built in China with Chinese technology, cost over $300 million, only 15% of which were directly paid by the Bolivian state.

The satellite's capacity is already at 70%, being more than half owned by the telco Entel, which has launched a direct-to-home (DTH) service across the country. The other 30% is expected to be used by the Government to guarantee telecom services in the rural and remote areas of the country.