Argentina is one of the largest markets for satellite services in South America, with several international, regional, and national companies involved in providing geostationary satellite services. The government plans to build three new satellites – Arsat-1, Arsat-2, and Arsat-3 – forits orbital positions 81ºW and 72°W.
Argentina obtained the right to the 81ºW orbital slotin 1998. This position is of considerable strategic importance because it reaches the whole ofLatin America. In 2006, the government established Arsat, a national satellite company created for the purpose of launching and operating a satellite in the 81ºW orbit.
Arsat is a wholly state-owned company, although there are plans to open it up eventually to private investment. The government, however, intends to keep a sizeable stake, to ensure that Arsat always operates according to the interests of the Argentine nation. In early 2007,Argentinapassed a bill exempting Arsat from having to pay national taxes. The satellites used by Arsat must be manufactured inArgentina, by state-owned nuclear technology developer INVAP.
INVAP began construction work on Arsat-1 in early 2007 with Astrium and Thales Alenia Space as equipment suppliers. Arianespace was contracted in June 2010 to launch the satellite into orbit. Arsat-1 will be fitted with twelve 36 MHz, eight 54 MHz, and four 72 MHz transponders, all in Ku band. It will offer a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, telephone, and television services across all ofArgentina,Chile,Uruguay, andParaguay. Launch is to take place by mid-2013.
Arsat signed a new contract with Arianespace in March 2011, this time for the launch of Arsat-2 by the second half of 2013. Arsat-2 will be fitted with 26 Ku-band and 10 C-band equivalent transponders. It will offer a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, internet, and television services across theAmericasfromArgentinatoCanada.
We invite your comments: Please click here to commentTagged in: Argentina, satellite