Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC)

Nigeria’s newest communications satellite is set to launch from China on 19 December.

The satellite, NigComSat 1R, will replace a previous communications satellite that was decommissioned in 2008. It is expected to significantly improve broadcasting and internet connectivity options in Nigeria.

It will be launched by the China Great Wall Industry Corp (CGWIC), which will also provide management support.

Nigerian Communications Minister Omobola Johnson told stakeholders this week that the satellite would help make Nigeria more globally competitive. It is also expected to contribute to reducing the cost of bandwidth.

The satellite will also be used to provide navigation services to the aviation and maritime industries.

The managing director of NigComSat Limited, Timansaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, said the new satellite was expected to have a lifespan of over 15 years.

It has payloads of seven antennae and 28 transponders, to address redundancy, and it operates under four different bands: C-, Ku-, KA- and the L-bands.

Earlier this year, two other Nigerian satellites were sent into orbit aboard the Dnepr rocket in southern Russia.

The NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X satellites were successfully launched from Yasny in southern Russia.

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