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Afghanistan Seeks Bidders For First Telecoms Satellite

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Afghan Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amir Zai Sangin says that country will accept bids from investors to build and place in orbit its first telecommunications satellite.

Sangin told RFE/RL's Afghan Service that the cost of the satellite will be approximately US­$250 million and selection of the winning investor will be finalized within six months.

Afghanistan has one assigned space in geosynchronous orbit for a satellite under international agreements but has never used it.

Sangin said the satellite's orbital position is attractive to investors because it allows for providing telecommunications services across the country.

Afghanistan's telecommunications market has been expanding dramatically over the past 10 years, but much is still concentrated in the capital.

The winning bidder will reportedly be allowed to earn back the initial investment by providing channels for businesses such as private television and telecommunications companies.

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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Tags: satellite  Afghanistan