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KazSat-2 to be using its capacities to the full in 2016: KazKosmos Head

Preparing Kazakhstan's KazSat-3 communications satellite in Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA News Preparing Kazakhstan's KazSat-3 communications satellite in Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA News

KazSat-2 will be using its capacities to the full in 2016, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports from the country’s Majilis (lower chamber).

“There is a schedule for domestic mobile carriers to shift to KazSat-2 [from foreign satellites]. Unfortunately, mobile carriers have long-term contracts with foreign satellite operators. Should they terminate the contracts, they will face huge penalties (…) By 2016 KazSat-2 will have all its capabilities used to the full. KazSat-3 will be backing up KazSat-2 as soon as it is fully operational since the forthcoming September”, Saken Sarsenov, head of the Agency for Communications and Information said.

Talgat Mussabayev, Head of KazKosmos National Space Agency, emphasized that with KazSat-3 in place the national satellite-assisted communication system will be able to fully meet the domestic demand for satellite-assisted communications services.

“The current share of KazSat-2 in the national market of satellite-assisted services only stands at 38%. Mobile carriers and broadcasters still rely on foreign space vehicles. Money keeps flowing abroad”, he said.

KazSat 2 is a Kazakh communication satellite designed by Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. Launched July 16, 2011, KazSat-2 reached its orbital position late August 2011.

It features 12 Ku-band transponders for fixed communications and 4 Ku-band transponders for TV-transmissions and is intended for telecast, fixed satellite communication and data transmission for Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The unit weighs 1,330 kg, its service life is 12 years. According to Meirbek Moldabekov, Vice Chairman of KazKosmos, KazSat-2 cost $115 million and it will be recouped in 4 years’ time, if it is exploited at 80% of the capacities.

It was to supplement the KazSat 1 satellite, but it has replaced Kazsat 1 due to the complete loss of the first satellite.

Launch of Kazsat-2 and construction of a new backup ground-based spacecraft control complex will enable Kazakhstan to save $30 million annually, KazKosmos Kazakhstan Space Agency Head Talgat Mussabayev told a briefing in Akkol September 14, 2011.

“Today Kazakhstan’s mobile carriers pay about $30 million a year to foreign satellite operators. With KazSat-2 in place all the money will be retained in Kazakhstan”, he said at that time.