Sudan’s publicly-traded telecommunications company, Sudatel Telecom Group, through its satellite communications-focused subsidiary, Sudasat, will leverage the four Ka-band transponders onboard Arabsat 6A to provide broadband communications and services across the Sudanese territory. Sudatel Telecom partnered Arabsat for the launch of the Arabsat 6A satellite at orbital position 30.5, where it will deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
Built by Lockheed Martin, Arabsat 6A is part of the two-satellite Arabsat 6G program for Arabsat. The satellite is built on the modernized LM 2100 series. Arabsat 6A is one of the largest and most advanced commercial communications satellites ever built by Lockheed Martin, according to Lisa Callahan Vice, President and General Manager of commercial civil space for Lockheed Martin.
The Arabsat 6A was successfully launched on April 11, 2019, aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy from the Cape Canaveral spaceport, Florida, USA.
Tarig Hamza Zain Elabdein, President & CEO of Sudatel Group and Chairman of Board of Directors of Sudasat, alongside the President & CEO of Arabsat, member of Sudatel Board of Directors, Eng. Khalid Balkheyour and the CEO of Canar Telecom, Eng. Hashim Hasab El-Rasoul witnessed the launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Sudatel Telecom will host the satellite ground station service via Abu Haraz satellite station in Sudan.
Eng. Tarig Hamza Zain Elabdein said: “This move marks a milestone in the company’s history and confirms its strategic plan to move the company to an integrated telecommunications operator to deliver unprecedented services through partnerships, upgrading it from the local and regional level to a much higher level. This move will be the first step in the process of launching a satellite for Sudan in which Sudatel will play a pivotal role through its foreign strategic partnerships”, according to a media publication from Arabsat.
The Sudatel Telecom Group and Arabsat partnership will lay the foundation of Sudan’s fledgeling space ambition. The Government of Sudan recently rolled out ambitious aerospace, aviation and telecommunication project development portfolio; which includes a plan to launch Sudanese Communication Satellite (SUDASAT-1) and Sudanese Remote Sensing Satellite (SRSS-1) into space in the near future. The government has already awarded the contract for the design and development of the SRSS-1.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.