RASCOM is the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization and provides telecommunication services, direct TV broadcast services and Internet access in rural areas of Africa. Under an agreement with RASCOM, RascomStar-QAF (a private company registered in Mauritius) will implement RASCOM's first communications satellite project. This joint African project is expected to lower the continent's dependency on international satellite networks such as Intelsat. RascomStar-QAF is headquartered in Dubai UAE.


1992: African States met in Abidjan to create the Regional African Satellite Communications Organization: RASCOM. The main objective of RASCOM was the implementation of a telecommunications infrastructure capable of ensuring the sustainable development of telecommunications over the entire African continent with special emphasis on providing rural telecommunication services in each African country

1998: RascomStar-QAF and RASCOM entered into a concession agreement, referred to as the Execution Agreement. Under this Execution Agreement, RASCOM assigned the frequency rights and other orbital rights obtained for the project to RascomStar-QAF for the duration of the concession and established terms and conditions for the construction, deployment and operation of the space segment and ground segment of a pan-African satellite telecommunications system.

In 2002 RascomStar-QAF was registered as a Mauritius company, with a global business license. The three (3) founding shareholders were RASCOM, Alcatel and GPTC.

In 2003 RascomStar-QAF subsidiary R-QAF entered into the first contract for the manufacture of the first RASCOM-QAF satellite and the delivery of the satellite in-orbit as well as the supply of a ground control system to be installed in Gharyan, Libya.

In 2004 additional frequency resources at 3°East were obtained for the RASCOM-QAF1 (RQ1) satellite.

In 2006 RascomStar-QAF decided to simplify its corporate structure and consolidated R-QAF with RascomStar-QAF in an assignment of all R-QAF’s assets and obligations to RascomStar-QAF. Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) entered into a subscription agreement to become a shareholder in RascomStar-QAF.

The Ariane 5GS rocket launched on 21 Dec 2007 the RASCOM-QAF1 spacecraft from Kourou, French Guyana. It was the first satellite entirely dedicated to the African continent. Thales Alenia Space built the satellite in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center, France.

Thales Alenia Space announced on 29 December that year that a helium leak aboard the spacecraft would delay its activation. On 4 February 2008 Thales Alenia Space announced the satellite had reached its intended geostationary orbit at 3°E. Its lifetime was expected to be slightly over 2 years.

In 2008 the commercial Operation on RASCOM-QAF1 (Bandwidth Lease Services - R*BCS) was started. Also the opening of Missions Facilities in Douala (Cameroon) was planned that year as well as the manufacture of RASCOM-QAF1 Replacement Satellite (RQ1R).

On Sept 9th 2008 Thales Alenia Space announced it would supply RASCOMSTAR-QAF with a new satellite, the RASCOM-QAF1R, which will provide continuity of service for RASCOMSTAR-QAF customers.

In 2009 RascomStar-QAF was honored by SATCOM STARS during the SATCOM AFRICA 2009 show as winner of the award for “Innovative Application of Satellite Technology in Africa 2009”.

On August 4th, 2010 the RASCOM-QAF1R spacecraft was successfully launched aboard of an Ariane 5ECA launch vehicle.

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RASCOM-QAF1 (Rascom-1)

Orbital Position: 3° E
Manufacturer: Thales Alenia Space
Launch date: 21 Dec 2007
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 5ES
Expected lifetime: 15 years (only 2 left)

Note: Due to a helium leak aboard the spacecraft would delay the activation. It took more then 30 days to move the satellite into its orbit. This reduced its lifetime significantly.

Youtube: Watch the RASCOM-QAF1 Satellite launch!

RASCOM-QAF1R (Rascom-1R)

Orbital Position: 3° E
Manufacturer: Thales Alenia Space
Launch date: 04 Aug 2010
Launch Operator: Arianespace S.A.
Launch vehicle: Ariane 5ECA
Expected lifetime: 15 years
Youtube: Watch the RASCOM-QAF1R Satellite launch!