Nigeria: Nigcomsat-1r attracts African broadcasters’ interest


 Following the successful launch of NigComSat-1R into space on Monday, December 19, 2011, and its successful landing in its orbital position in space on Tuesday December 27, 2011, which was barely 168 hours after it was launched from the earth surface, the communications satellite will commence full commercial service February 6, 2012.

Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat), Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai who gave the hint during an interactive session with the media in Abuja at the weekend, said he was happy for the successful launch and landing of NigComSat-1R.

Amed-Rufai added that the communications satellite was currently undergoing test to ascertain its fitness after the launch. According to him, the test-run will last for five weeks (January ending), and thereafter, the satellite will commence full commercial service February 6.

"We are currently test-running the satellite to ensure that its entire systems are still in order and that they still retain their values after the satellite was launched. The result we are getting so far from the test is very good. At the end of the test, which NigComSat Engineers are currently carrying out in Nigeria under the tutelage of China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), builders of NigComSat-1R, it will be formally handed over to Nigeria, to take full control of the communications satellite. Testing is taking place at the two ground stations in Abuja, Nigeria, and we will go full commercial sales of transponders and channels to customers that are within and outside Nigeria," Ahmed-Rufai said.

Fielding questions from journalists on its marketing strategies, Executive Director, Marketing for NigComSat, Mrs. Abimbola Alale said NigComSat had before the launch in December, commenced pre-launch marketing with government and some private sector companies.

According to her, customers to NigComSat-1 are confident in NigComSat-1R because of the quality and cheap services rendered by NigComSat-1 before it was de-orbited, and new customers are already showing interest to hook on to NigComSat-1R as soon as it goes commercial.

The Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Galaxy Television, have given us their words to return to NigComSat-1R, as soon as it goes commercial. Several other government agencies and the private sectors have also indicated interest to hook on to NigComSat-1R, and over 60 per cent of government agencies are ready to hook on to NigComSat-1R. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), customs, immigration, army police among others within the country, as well as customers outside Nigeria are al waiting for NigCoSat-1R, and we are pleased to share with the public, this development.

"As we speak, we have two requests from Ghana for the purchase of our transponders and our satellite covers over 40 African countries, and it is capable of delivering services to every customer in those countries, be it government or private," Alale said.