PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will be another step closer to its target of providing full internet access across the country when it launches its newest satellite tomorrow.
The RM1.2 billion Measat-3d, which will blast off from the French Guiana in South America at 5.03am tomorrow (Malaysian time), is the eighth in its fleet of satellites and teleport infrastructure. It will bring the nation’s portfolio of these facilities to RM7.6 billion.
A morsel of information for the technically savvy and space exploration enthusiasts: the Measat Global Bhd satellite will take the 91.5°E orbital slot.
Measat-3d will provide the necessary support to reach the target of providing internet access to all Malaysians by 2025 under the government’s Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela) and the MyDigital blueprints.
The benefits are obvious in a world that has become so digitally connected.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz sees internet access for all as critical for success in the digital economy.
“It will democratise participation from all walks of society,” he told FMT Business.
Measat Global group chief operating officer Yau Chyong Lim pointed out that the under-served population could soon get internet access via its satellite broadband service CONNECTme NOW.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of technology and the use of broadband for education, economic activity and social interaction, we have initiated a series of future satellite launches to improve broadband service in the next three to five years to accelerate the formation of a digitally-inclusive society,” he said.
Measat Global’s foray into space began with the launch of its first two satellites — the Measat-1 and Measat-2 in 1996.
The two satellites pioneered the use of Ku-band in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. This sparked advances in the telecommunications and broadcasting industry, leading to the birth of direct-to-home TV service, Astro.
In 2006, it followed up with the launch of Measat-3 at the 91.5°E orbital slot, transforming it into a supplier of satellite services across Asia.
Building on the momentum, Measat-3a joined the same orbital slot in 2009, to further support the direct-to-home and broadcast distribution service.
Measat Global then partnered with Thaicom in 2011 to launch the Measat-5 satellite, kicking off a new effort to bring broadband service coverage to every part of Malaysia.
From there, the satellite operator collaborated with Azerbaijan-based Azercosmos to launch its fifth satellite, AfricaSat-1a in 2013, expanding its coverage into new markets across Africa and the Middle East.
In 2014, Measat-3b joined Measat-3 and Measat-3a at the 91.5°E orbital slot to enhance services for its direct-to-home customers.
Last year it made the decision to retire Measat-3 after 15 years of service in response to an anomaly that resulted in an outage of service.
Measat-3d will fill the gap left by the Measat-3 in the 91.5°E orbital slot.