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Friday, 26 June 2009

Angola looks to the heavens...

Angola and Russia have signed a contract for the building, launching and operating an Angolan telecom satellite AngoSat worth $327m . The production of Angosat will take 39 months to finish and the Russian government will provide Angola all necessary technical means, training of Angolans in space technology for satellite management. The satellite has a designed lifespan of 15 years, and will serve to support Angola's national infrastructures of telecommunications and terrestrial digital television all over the country. It will also enable the coverage in Africa, Europe, in C band, and Southern Africa region in particular, in Ku band. More via UK Guardian and Xinhuanet.

3 comments:

  1. I'm not entirely sure whether this is a show of might, wealth or necessary enabling technology. Another dimension to this is that the Russians have a space industry which they need to keep afloat with foreign finances. Is Angola's new found 'stable' wealth that next source?

    Usually small African countries such as Angola do not do rocket science, because it's expensive and well, it's rocket science. If anything, I would have expected some sort of regional collaboration to share the cost.

    In terms of alternative technology for TV and communications, I would have thought the next big thing in TV is Digital Terrestrial TV, which is now mature technology in Western Europe. It doesn't involve rocket science and its cost is not astronomical.

    As for communications, well fibre backbone and wireless access networks are proving very viable in Africa as we noted previously on this forum. Overland fibre projects could complement the undersea fibre links which are now about to circumscribe Africa.

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  2. Digitial Terrestrial TV is now in 90% of UK homes, according to latest figures from the country's regulator Ofcom. That's how popular it has become in less than a decade.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8123997.stm

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  3. This is more like it! This report suggests South Africa is moving towards digital TV terrestrial broadcasting, and they're looking to migrate by as early as 2015.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200907060092.html

    Honestly, I do not know what Angola is trying to achieve, other than financing the Russian space agency, by developing satellites for TV broadcasting.

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