Nigerian Communication Satellite, Ltd. (NIGCOMSAT)
The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communication Technology founded NIGCOMSAT Ltd, with a mission to become the leading communication satellite operator and service provider in Africa. NIGCOMSAT Ltd. operates 2 satellites in orbit and is headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria. It has regional offices in Lagos, Nigeria and in Kashi, China.
NIGCOMSAT was founded in 2006. Two years earlier, in December 2004, The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communication Technology signed the initial contract with CGWIC for the design, manufacture and launch of Nigeria’s first communications satellite, the NIGCOMSAT-1 (Nigerian Communication Satellite).
It became the first African geosynchronous communication satellite. NIGCOMSAT-1 was launched on May 13th 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.
The satellite was de-orbited barely a year after launch in November 2008, due to malfunction of Solar Array Deployment Assembly (SADA) and was sent to a graveyard orbit as it became apparent, that the satellite could not be recovered.
On March 24, 2009, NIGCOMSAT Ltd. and CGWIC signed a further contract for the in-orbit delivery of the NIGCOMSAT-1R satellite, replacing the lost NIGCOMSAT-1 satellite and was successfully launched on December 19th, 2011.
NIGCOMSAT-1R was seen as the messiah which has come to further enable intelligence gathering and strengthen security in Nigeria, Africa and beyond; as well as drive National ICT revolution in providing revenue diversification for the Nation and offer cost effective solution and affordable access to meet Nigeria’s telecommunications, broadcast, aviation, maritime, defense and security needs.
On December 30th 2015, NigComSat Ltd, announced in Abuja, Nigeria that it had won a bid to provide in-orbit test (IOT) and carrier spectrum monitoring (CSM) services for Belarus Belintersat-1 satellite. NigComSat is the first company in Africa that won the bid to provide such services.
www.thisdaylife.com edition 31 Jan 2013