Thales Alenia Space has won a $250 million contract from Bangladesh to develop the country's first communications satellite known as Bangabandhu-1.
French-Italian firm will build the satellite for the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to be launched into space on December 16 in 2017, various media reported today.
The deal which would save Bangladesh coffers $14 million a year from renting transponders of foreign satellites, Junior telecoms minister Tarana Halim said.
"With the launch of Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh will become the 57th member of the exclusive club of satellite-owning countries," Halim said at the contract-signing ceremony.
"The satellite will cover Bangladesh, other South Asian countries, Indonesia, the Philippines and several other nations," the minister added.
Early this year Bangladesh bought a satellite orbital slot from Russian company Intersputnik International for $28 million.