By Leman Mammadova
Today, Azerbaijan is a member of space satellite club with three satellites, long-term space industry development programs and infrastructure and strengthens its position in the global space industry market.
The revenues of Azerbaijan's Azercosmos OJSC from the export of satellite and telecommunication services amounted to $25.6 million in 2018, Ramin Huseyn, an analyst at the Center for the Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communications said at a press conference on February 1, Trend reports.
The company's revenues from the exports increased by 12 percent compared to 2017 and accounted for 87 percent of the company's total income.
Azercosmos provided 24 countries with its services. The bulk of the services accounted for France ($11.8 million), Malaysia ($8.4 million), the UAE ($1.5 million), Germany ($941,000) and Georgia ($537,000).
Azercosmos OJSC was established in May 2010 with the purpose of implementing the launch, operation, and exploitation of telecommunication satellites for Azerbaijan. This is the first Caucasian satellite operator.
Azerbaijan’s Azercosmos OJSC operates satellites and other devices used at different heights in order to support the country’s socio-economic development, commercial, scientific activities and for state purposes.
Azercosmos OJSC operates geostationary satellites Azerspace 1, Azerspace 2 and low-altitude satellite AzerSky.
The first satellite of Azerbaijan, Azerspace, was launched into space in 2013 from the Kuru cosmodrome in South America.
At present, its service area includes countries of Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The income from using the first telecommunications satellite amounted to $ 72 million.
At the same time, the country earned $ 19 million from using the Azersky satellite, operating since 2014 and intended to monitor the surface of the Earth. Azerbaijan’s revenue from the operation of Azersky is expected to exceed $200 million within the next decade.
In addition, Azercosmos launched the new satellite Azerspace-2 on September 25, 2018 by ELA-3 platform in Guiana Space Center located in French Guiana. Its service area will cover the countries of Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Azerbaijan's telecommunications satellite Azerspace 2 reached its test orbit on December 18, 2018.
Azerkosmos OJSC has already started commercial exploitation of the resources of Azerspace-2. Currently, the operator is negotiating with potential companies in countries within the scope of the spacecraft. Primary agreements are signed with several operators in the USA, Pakistan and other countries. The projected revenue for the current year from the commercial sale of satellite resources is 16.5 million dollars. The lifetime of a satellite in orbit will be 20 years.
The new satellite will not only expand the range of services and geography of activities of Azercosmos OJSC, but will also act as a reserve for the first telecommunications satellite Azerspace 1. In addition, the second satellite will make it possible to take part in big international tenders, which was not possible before.
Azerspace-2 satellite worth $ 190 million is expected to bring $ 400 million in revenue to the country's economy.
The main satellite control center is located on the 37th kilometer of the Baku-Shamakhi highway, and the backup center is located on the territory of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (the village of Nekhedzhir, Julfinsky district of NAR).
National satellites offer high-quality services for telecommunications in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and the Caucasus region. The launch of satellites in space ensures the formation of a reliable information security system in Azerbaijan and, in general, boosts telecommunications system development, and further enhances the quality of internet, international telephone calls, television broadcasting and satellite services throughout the country. At the same time, satellite mapping, hydrometeorology, study of the Earth's surface, geodetic works will be possible at a high level.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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