India to launch satellite for multimedia broadcasts

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NEW DELHI: India on Thursday announced plans to launch by 2008 a satellite capable of offering multimedia broadcasts to mobile phones and audio-video receivers fitted in vehicles.

The project to design, develop and launch GSAT-6/INSAT-4E, a multimedia mobile satellite system, at an estimated cost of Rs.2.69 billion ($58.5 million) was cleared by a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

GSAT-6, to be built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will offer a satellite-digital multimedia broadcasting (S-DMB) service and can also be used for strategic and social applications, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters.

The project will include a foreign exchange component of Rs.1.02 billion.
It will put India in an exclusive group of nations that are currently working to offer multimedia satellite broadcasts to small mobile devices such as cellular phones and receivers fitted in cars.

The satellite will also provide a platform for developing technologies that can be used in future satellite-based mobile communication applications such as demonstration of large unfurlable antenna in spacecraft, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques, Dasmunsi said.

GSAT-6 will have five CxS transponders of 9 MHz bandwidth each, and five SxC transponders of 2.7 MHz bandwidth each. The life of the satellite will be 12 years.

The satellite is part of the GSAT/INSAT system planned for the 10th Five Year Plan and funds have been already provided for this Dasmunsi said the satellite would provide several benefits, including utilisation of India's S-band spectrum allocation for satellite broadcasting, the capacity to deliver over 10 video channels and over 10 audio channels in each beam, and interactive services such as text messaging, weather information, and disaster warning.

The number of audio and video channels will grow over time through better digital transmission, encoding and compression technologies.

The satellite will also give impetus to technology and business development in satellite multimedia services and related products, including lease of space segment capacity by private companies in India, and reduction of reliance on foreign entities.

The successful completion of the project will also enable ISRO to become a leader in the growing worldwide S-DMB services.

Source: Times of India
 
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