PAKSAT MM1 Launched

Pakistan launched its second communication satellite, PAKSAT MM1, on Thursday to improve the country’s internet and communication services. The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) announced last week that the satellite would be launched from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. Earlier this month, Pakistan had launched its first satellite as part of China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission.

PAKSAT MM1 Launched

According to a statement from Pakistan Television, the satellite will enhance internet services across the country, as well as improve TV broadcasts, cellular phone, and broadband services. It is expected to start operating in August.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who attended the launch, expressed hope that Pakistan would eventually be able to launch its satellites using its own rockets from a local space launch center. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also congratulated the nation, emphasizing the satellite’s potential to provide the fastest internet service in Pakistan and improve digital connectivity.

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The prime minister highlighted the significance of this achievement in advancing the country’s space and communication capabilities. He noted that the satellite would benefit citizens by promoting economic activities, e-commerce, and e-governance. The launch, conducted from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, was seen as a symbol of the strong partnership between Pakistan and China.

PM Shehbaz praised Suparco and everyone involved in the mission, calling it a testament to Pakistan’s scientific and technological abilities. He expressed optimism about the nation’s future in space and communication technology, seeing the launch as a sign of more successes to come.

This high power multi-mission satellite will provide communication services in C, Ku, Ka Bands and SBAS services in L Band. Based on advanced communication technologies, PakSat-MM1 will play a pivotal role in the socio-economic uplift of the country. It will prove to be a stepping stone in the transformation of the country into Digital Pakistan.

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The satellite will be available for its services by end August 2024, as per plan. Total deliverable capacity of Ka-Band is 10Gbps covering whole Pakistan, there is no steerable beam in Ka-HTS payload. Maximum throughput achievable on a single beam is approx. 1 Gbps. User beams are fixed and cannot be steered over any particular area. For PakSat-MM1 HTS, three Gateway beams have been designed over Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad with gateway beam of 0.08°.

It will provide various communication services like broadband internet, TV broadcasting, Mobile bank –hauling and VSAT connectivity etc.

Brief Specification

Orbital Position38.2oE
Launch (Planned)30 May 2024
PayloadsC, Ku, Ka and L Bands
Life15 Years
Source: SUPARCO
     Payloads  Size (MHz)Number of TPsEIRP (dBW)
        C-Band        72        03        42.5
        68        01        42.5
        36        06        42.5
    Ku-Band BSS        33        08        56
     Ku-Band FSS        54        09        55
        36        03        55
       Ka-Band       288        07        66
       188        06        66

Source: SUPARCO

Coverage Maps

C-band Coverage

  • High performance and high power transponders supporting TV broadcast and HDTV programming with a wide regional coverage.
  • Direct one hop access into premium UK and mainland Europe cable and DTH platforms through a network of strategically located media port partners.
  • Convenient turnaround via fiber from UK to North America for cost effective access to US and Canadian cable and DTH head-ends.
  • High-power beam for robust cellular back-haul connectivity across S. Asia, Middle East and parts of Africa and Central Asia.
  • Ideal for cost effective IP trunking from UK and Mainland Europe into S. Asia, Middle East and parts of Africa and Central Asia.

Ku-band Coverage

  • Very high power coverage over Pakistan (up to 55 dBW) and adjoining areas, enabling various communication services including VSAT applications.
  • Supports higher order modulation schemes and data throughputs for maximum spectral efficiency, link performance and cost savings.
  • Ideal for Cellular back-haul, DSNG and data networks with guaranteed link reliability and stability even under adverse weather conditions.

Ka-band Coverage

  • Ka-Band HTS payload will enable high speed connectivity / broadband services in the country.

Credits: Images and technical data sourced from SUPARCO; https://suparco.gov.pk/major-programmes/projects/paksat-mm1/

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