Communication (Phone-Internet-etc)Lao Economy

Lao Satellite To Go Into Orbit This Month

Laos’ first telecommunications satellite (Lao Sat-1) will be launched into orbit on November 21 to spur many facets of development and industry.

The satellite, which is owned by the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company, will be part of a network of satellites in Laos and overseas that provide various communication services.

It will enhance communication links for government work, television transmission, rural and remote communications, long distance education, medical, telecoms and internet links, as well as facilitating relief efforts in times of natural disasters.

A shareholders agreement for the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company was signed in Vientiane on Friday between the Lao government and three Chinese developers.

Deputy Minister of Finance Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth ( seated, second left ) and Chinese company representatives sign the satellite agreement in Vientiane last week witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong ( standing, fourth right ).

Representing the Lao government was Deputy Minister of Finance Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth. The Chinese shareholders were represented by the President of the China Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecommunications Satellite Co., Ltd. (APMT), Mr Han Qingping, Vice President of Space Star Technology Co. Ltd. (SSTC), Mr Li Jilin, and Asia-Pacific Satellite Technology (APST) executive, Mr Yao Yong.

Also present at the signing were Deputy Prime Minister Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong, Minister of Finance Dr Lien Thikeo, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Mr Guan Huabing, other Lao government officials and Chinese representatives.

The Lao government will hold a 45 percent stake in the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company, while APMT has a 35 percent shareholding, SSTC has 15 percent, and APST has a 5 percent stake.

“The launch of the satellite by China is a special gift to Laos to mark the 40th anniversary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on December 2,” Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mr Hiem Phommachanh said.

The satellite will be launched from China into the 128.5 degrees East orbital slot, which has been specifically allocated to Laos.

Work on the satellite project began in 2008 but was delayed while funding was procured. Then in 2012, the Lao government signed a US$259 million loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China.

“Laos is very proud to have its own satellite for the purposes of socio-economic advancement. It will also be an important source of income,” Mr Hiem said.

The satellite launch is part of government efforts to propel the country towards industrialisation and employ advanced technology for telecommunications.

Mr Hiem said the many years of experience of the Chinese shareholders in the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company would result in a profitable venture that would also benefit society.

Source: Vientiane Times