The Edition


Maldives-India discuss building ground station for satellite slot

Nafaahath Ibrahim
09 January 2019, MVT 09:13
Indian onlookers watch the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) at Sriharikota on Febuary 15, 2017. India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on February 15 in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space agency. Scientists who were at the launch in the southern spaceport of Sriharikota burst into applause as the head of India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR
Nafaahath Ibrahim
09 January 2019, MVT 09:13

Maldives and India held discussions to build the ground station required to use the island nation's slot of the Indian satellite launched in 2017.

While responding to a question posed by local news media Mihaaru during a press conference, CEO of Telecommunications Authority Ilyas Ahmed said that discussions started over a week back. He added that a decision is yet to be made on the matter.

Indian media reports claim that India aims to build five large ground stations for the satellite in five neighbouring countries. The reports also claim that this is to obstruct the Chinese influence in the region.

However, Ilyas assured that the slot granted to Maldives in the satellite is a generous aid by India. He went on to say that Maldives could utilize ts slot via small terminals if the ground station could not be developed.

Ilyas revealed that 30 terminals are set to be built in various parts of Maldives that will use India's GSAT-9 satellite to provide emergency telecommunication. He added that this project is funded by the United Nations Developed Program (UNDP).

Currently, terminals set to be built in administrative capitals of each atoll and some of the bigger islands. Ilyas noted that they are working to establish terminals in some of the resorts as well.

"Once these terminals are complete, they can be used to continue providing service even if there is an interruption in any of the telecommunication providers in the Maldives. This will make things a lot easier" said Ilyas.

In addition to Maldives, India granted slots from the satellite to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.