China's new-generation broadcasting satellite system will be put into operation in 2006, which will satisfy the demand of 280 million farmers who do not have access to television programs, Chinese satellite communications officials said Monday.
Sources with China Satellite Communications Corp. (China Satcom) said two satellites for radio and television broadcasting will be launched before the end of 2006 to form such a system, including one made by the Chinese and one manufactured by Alcatel Space, a wholly-owned subsidiary of satellite giant Alcatel.
China Satcom and Alcatel signed a contract over the weekend to design and produce a new-generation communications satellite, Chinasat 9, according to the sources.
Chinasat 9, which is scheduled to be launched in late 2006 atop a Long March 3B carrier rocket, will enable 97 percent of Chinese residents to receive satellite broadcasting signals with the help of an antenna 0.45 to 0.6 meters in length.
Min Changning, chief engineer of the home-made satellite, Sino II, said the Chinese-made satellite capable of offering various communications and television broadcasting services, will be launched in mid-2005.
The two satellites, both with a designed service life of 15 years, will form the new-generation broadcasting system.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2004)