The satellite to be launched is mainly for media and communication purposes in which Ethio telecom, the country’s telecoms giant, plans to use half of it, Ethio telecom CEO Andualem Admassie told journalists on Monday.
He hopes the country’s first satellite will be launched in less than three years’ time.
Ethio telecom pays $12 million in annual fees for satellite services and the expense soars when satellite services are utilized by media, aviation, and national security intuitions.
Moreover, the fact that national access to satellite communication and information through satellite depends on the goodwill of service providers, makes it essential for Ethiopia to launch its own satellite, the director-general of the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Major General Teklebrhan Weldearegay, said in a joint media briefing.
“Ownership of the technology and promotion of the country’s image are among the many benefits that are to be obtained from launching the satellite,” according to Admassie.
Since the country is undertaking a remarkable work in the area, foreign PhD students are coming to the Entoto Observatory and Research Center for research and learning, he also said.
“The sum of all this is that the country’s all-round-development will enable it to take a comparative advantage over others” he said.
Launching the satellite will place the Horn African nation ahead of neighbouring countries, he claimed.
South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria are the African countries that have launched their own satellites.
It would be recalled that seven months ago, APA quoted Mohammed Edris, information communication director at Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), as saying that Addis Ababa is waiting for approval from the Global Satellite Agency, following a request it submitted a year and half ago, to launch a communication satellite.