China to launch small communication satellites for commercial use for the first time

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Source: CGTN  Date: 2018/11/10

In a world where the Internet is a virtual necessity, China is helping bring it to areas where it's not always reliable.

China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) announced a customized new system of small communication satellites for overseas users, on the sidelines of Airshow China 2018 held from November 6 to 11 in Zhuhai City. 

The system is based on the DFH-4F SMALL GEO Platform, which enables high-speed Internet services for overseas users in remote areas.

This is the first time that China will launch small communication satellites for commercial use, which have an operation life of 15 years, roughly the same as other medium or large-sized communication satellites. However, it's more cost-efficient than large ones, and takes a shorter time to develop.

CGWIC chairman Liu Qiang (R) holds a model of a small communication satellite, whose development is estimated to take two years. /CGTN Photo

"For some island countries, mountainous areas, or underdeveloped areas in transportation or infrastructure... people will have access to high-speed Internet services," said CGWIC chairman Liu Qiang. "(It's) thanks to satellite communications and some small ground stations."

Liu said so far the company has delivered 13 large satellites in orbit for international users, including Nigeria, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Belarus. The new deal is seen as another step toward China's "going global" strategy in space and satellite industry.

CGWIC is the only company authorized by the Chinese government to provide commercial launching services and satellite systems for international users. The announcement follows a signing ceremony with APT Satellite Company Limited, a broadcasting and telecommunications services provider based in Hong Kong.