China to launch direct broadcasting satellite

24 Oct 2006

(Xinhua via NewsEdge) China's first large direct broadcasting satellite will be launched at the end of the month to meet the needs of China's rapidly developing TV market.

SINOSAT-2, capable of carrying radio and TV signals across the country, is scheduled for launch on Oct. 29 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, SINO Satellite Communications (SINOSAT), a Beijing-based state-owned telecom satellite operator, said.

The satellite will enable every farming household to receive TV signals using a small dish, thereby bringing educational programs and even remote medical services to farmers, Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration, said earlier this month.

SINOSAT-2, designed and developed by China alone, has a 15-year mission life and will provide TV and radio transmissions, digital films, direct TV and digital broadband, according to the company.

'The launch will be a milestone for the satellite industry,' China Business News quoted SINOSAT chief engineer Min Changning as saying, 'and hopefully trigger the amendment of Decree 129.'

China's State Council issued Decree 129 in 1993 to prohibit individuals and work units from setting up satellite dishes to receive foreign programs.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is considering amending the regulation, the newspaper reported.

Industry analysts predict that once individuals are allowed to install satellite dishes, up to 100 million households will do so between 2006 and 2010.

China currently has about 400 million television sets, a huge potential market for satellite TV.

© 2006 Xinhua News Agency

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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