Eutelsat and the Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), giving the country satellite resources to enhance deployment of its national broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure as well as international connectivity.
From February, Eutelsat will deploy Afghanistan 1, an in-orbit satellite, delivering full national coverage and extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East. The satellite is located at 48 degrees East.
“Afghanistan 1 is a new milestone in the development of the ICT sector in Afghanistan, which in the last 12 years has already seen mobile telephony coverage of 88% and penetration grow from zero to 75% through the licensing of six operators, ICT sector employment provided for more than 138,000 people and more than USD 2.1 billion invested in the national economy. We are very happy to partner with Eutelsat on Afghanistan 1 which will provide access to ICT and broadcast services to Afghans, especially in unserved areas, and support our vision of transforming Afghanistan into an information society,” says Amirzai Sangin, Minister at MCIT.
Afghanistan 1 will support a wide range of services including broadcasting, mobile telephony backhaul and IP connectivity. Eutelsat and the MCIT have also agreed on exploring opportunities for longer-term cooperation.
“This MOU represents the fastest and most effective route to accessing infrastructure configured to deliver full coverage of Afghanistan and surrounding regions. It enables Afghanistan to scale up capacity as and when needed and to offer broadcasters, telcos and ISPs the immediate benefit of resources, providing exceptional reach and performance,” says Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat.