China has launched a communication satellite developed for Laos, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Lao counterpart, Choummaly Sayasone, have sent each other congratulatory messages marking the successful launch, Xinhuanet reported on Saturday (21 Nov 2015).
“Lao Sat-1” is the first satellite that China has exported to an ASEAN country, and it will be Laos’ first communication satellite. China tailored it to meet specific requirements from Laos. It will provide services like live television broadcasting, wireless broadband access and international communication, to the country.
This satellite is expected to play an important role for a country that is still in the early stages of developing its communication infrastructure. The design for Lao Sat-1 was based on China’s existing technologies.
Mainstream communication satellites in China are mostly based on the Dongfanghong-4 platform. This has powerful functions, but it is not the best choice for Laos, said Xinhuanet.
“Currently Laos can only use satellites rented from other countries. Now it has its own satellite. People could enjoy more diversified TV programs. Besides, many mountainous areas in north Laos have no communication connections like this. With this new satellite, people living in the mountains could have a better understanding of the outside world,” said Han Qingping, CEO of China Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecom Satellite Co.
The satellite also provides wireless broadband services, offering high-speed data services to Laos, and other countries along the Maritime Silk Road.