Companies operating in the mobile communications and banking sectors will be able to take advantage of the first Azerbaijani national satellite's resources, Communications and Information Technologies Ministry said on September 11.
The Azerspace-1 satellite, launched in February, started its full commercial operation in July. Some 80 percent of the satellite's resources are available for commercial purposes.
The satellite was designed to offer digital broadcasting services, Internet access, data transmission, to create multiservice VSAT networks and to provide for governmental communication.
Banks seeking to provide banking and financial services in remote areas will have the chance to use the national satellite's resources. Thus, banks can install their ATMs or build service offices in settlements up in the mountains where there is no ground communication infrastructure or it is too expensive, and coordinate their work with the head office through VSAT satellite communication systems.
VSAT is a two-way satellite ground station which relays data from small remote ground stations to other terminals.
Satellite communication is widely used in the banking sector around the world. For instance, Absa, a major African bank, supports the operation of 1,200 ATMs at 800 sites through a VSAT network, and some 30,000 ATMs of different banks operating in India use VSAT services.
The same opportunities are available for mobile operators, as operators do not need to construct numerous towers or lay fiber-optic lines in locations with a weak signal or beyond the reach of a signal.
A VSAT system envisions setting up only one tower with a satellite dish at the last destination to provide mobile operators with high quality and trouble-free communication, which is connected with the central automatic telephone station via satellite communications.
The operators save costs on the construction of many towers, their infrastructure coordination and further support.
Satellite communication offers high competitive solutions in this field, and giant telecommunication companies such as Vodafone, MTN and Millicom are using satellite communication to provide mobile networks in impassable areas in many countries of Africa.
Satellite technology presently plays an important role in providing mobile communication in Latin America, the Caribbean and South-East Asia, where the terrain is mostly mountainous or there is a large group of islands.
Satellite services are broadly used in the oil and gas industry, health and education. The space agency Azercosmos is ready to provide satellite services to enterprises and companies.
The term of exploitation in the orbit of Azerspace-1, which is expected to fetch $500-600 million to the country, will be up to 15 years. The satellite's services cover Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Africa.
According to Azercosmos, launching of a second telecommunications satellite, Azerspace-2, is scheduled for 2018.