Angola is close to launching its second communications satellite, Angosat-2. The satellite, weighing two tons, will be a High-throughput satellite (HTS), providing 13 gigabytes in each illuminated region (satellite signal range zones). The satellite will be based on the Eurostar-3000 platform and have a design lifespan of 15 years. Angosat-2 was developed in Russia by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company, and the construction is at no new cost to Angola due to the insurance package from Angosat-1’s USD 300 million contract.
According to the Director-General of the Angolan National Space Program Management Office (GGPEN), Zolana João, Angosat-2 will be seven times faster than its predecessor as Angosat-1 was conceived as a conventional satellite, with a wide communication beam, regardless of location. With this, Angola can minimise the digital divide problem, allowing equal access to all Angolans to the benefits offered by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Upon the groundwork laid by the satellite, Angola intends to improve the Angosat-2 satellite transmission infrastructure and Angola’s Earth Observation programme within the framework of its National Space Strategy. This will also extend to investment in national broadband infrastructure through submarine and terrestrial fibre optics. The Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication (MINTTICS), Mário Augusto da Silva Oliveira, made this known.
According to the Minister, investing in space technology will contribute to unifying and developing Africa. “We want to have a strong national space industry that serves the interests of our economy and brings benefits, not only for Angola but as a way to create synergies in our region while fostering the establishment of a united Africa”, he said.
The Minister also noted that the telecommunications services resulting from the launch would benefit Angola and the satellite operators. The services will cover the entire African continent and a significant part of Southern Europe in C Band. The satellite will also provide almost complete coverage of southern Africa in Ku Band. The Minister also noted the intention of the Executive to continue investing in inducing projects for the creation of the television broadcasting market.
In addition, Mário Augusto da Silva Oliveira highlighted the roles of public media companies’ professionals and the technical and engineering staff. He noted that they were necessary for developing good communication services in Angola. He also discussed the revitalisation of the Journalist Training Centre (CEFOJOR). According to him, this is to create better-trained media technicians who can continuously respond to Angola’s communication challenges.
The Angolan Management Office of the National Space Program (GGPEN) began maintenance work on the satellite’s control and operation systems in preparation for the satellite’s launch. The maintenance activities included conducting visual inspections, verifying the operating status and observing the performance characteristics of radiofrequency equipment and the entire information technology infrastructure installed in the Satellite Mission and Control Centre (MCC). The maintenance also complied with the recommendation to perform a pre-assessment of the state of readiness of the installed infrastructure for Angosat-2’s launch phase.
Faleti Joshua is an avid lover of space in all its incomprehensible nature. He holds both an LL.B and a B.L degree. Joshua is a lover of music and a lawyer in his free time.