The Lao Sat 1 project worth US$ 258 million is expected to reach its breakeven point in 10 years of operation, according to Lao Asia-Pacific Satellite Director Ding Yongbing.
We base our estimation of the breakeven point of Lao Sat 1 on experiences gained by satellite industry in a number of countries around the world, Mr Ding Yongbing, Director, Lao Asia Pacific Satellite told the media on Monday.
Lao Sat 1 was sent into orbit in November 2015 since then five local companies and several foreign companies, including those from China and Hong Kong administrative region, have signed rental agreements for its signal services.
Many foreign companies are negotiating and going to rent the satellite signal services from Lao Sat 1 in the near future. As a result foreign companies share the largest proportion of the customer list of Lao Sat 1 at the moment.
The Lao Asia Pacific Satellite has earmarked 17 out of 22 transponders for foreign customers.
However, as for the competition and service in the country, the government is considering formulating legal instruments that will regulate relevant businesses to ensure just competition in the satellite signal service industry according to the law of the Lao PDR, said Yongbing.
Lao Sat 1 was first designed to have a 15-year life, however, due to adjustments made to its system, the satellite is now enjoying a life circle of 16.5 years, according to Yongbing.
Since Laos is a landlocked country, communication is difficult in this point of view but once we have satellite, communication can be made more easily. Additionally, Laos is located along the Belt and Road economic corridors of China. These conditions enable our satellite project to serve services involved in the development of the Belt and Road corridors. In addition, many Chinese companies have invested in Laos and they need easy communication solutions. As for Lao people, due to technology development, the need for distance communication is increasing. These are favourable conditions for our satellite services, said Yongbing.
Yet the company faces some challenges. These include its being young in the industry and the fact that its competent personnel are small in number and that it has to compete with satellite televisions from neighbouring countries who have secured their presence in Laos for some time already.
We believe that under the cooperation between the two governments of Laos and China and the guidance from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, our company will operate the Lao satellite business as a driver of socio-economic development in Laos, said Yongbing.
Source: Lao News Agency