The planned launch of two direct broadcasting satellites in
China within the next two years is expected to beam TV programs to
the country's most remote areas.
China Great Wall Industry Corp and China Satellite Communication
Corp (ChinaSat) signed a contract in Beijing yesterday to put
ChinaSat 9 into orbit in the second half of 2007. The satellite is
one of two that will beam TV programs to the country's most remote
The country's first generation direct broadcasting satellite
system should be operational by 2007, when French-made ChinaSat 9
joins Chinese-developed SinoSat 2 satellite in space. SinoSat 2 is
expected to be launched next year.
"ChinaSat 9 is a powerful direct broadcasting satellite capable
of beaming TV programs to 98 percent of the population," Lu Lijin,
a senior engineer with the ChinaSat, said.
ChinaSat 9 is expected to work alongside SinoSat 2, which is
being developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) based on Dongfanghong
IV, China's latest communications satellite platform, according to
SinoSat 2 is slated to be launched in mid-2006, according to Fan
Xingmin, an executive with the satellite owner, Beijing-based Sino
Satellite Communications Co.
Both SinoSat 2 and ChinaSat 9 will move in the same orbit, Lu
The satellites will guarantee 100 percent uninterrupted
broadcasting services, Lu said.
The system will benefit in particular people living in very
remote areas, he added.
They will be able to dispense with TV relay stations and receive
direct broadcasts using smaller dishes measuring with 0.45 meters
to 0.6 meters in diameter, he said.
Even at a 1 yuan (US$12 cents) per channel service fee, direct
satellite TV broadcasting is expected to generate a revenue of at
least 15 billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) each year between 2008 and
2017, he said.
China currently rents 37 transponders in 12 foreign-made
satellites for broadcasting services, Lu said.
(China Daily November 10, 2005)