ABE (Agencia Boliviana Espacial)
Agencia Boliviana Espacial (ABE) is the National Space Agency of Bolivia, operating the Túpac Katari 1 (TKSat-1) satellite that is located at 87° West, providing coverage to rural Bolivia.
ABE, established in February 2010 by President Evo Morales, is responsible for developing and implementing communications satellite programs and other space projects and implementing their application in education, health and weather forecasting programs.
Bolivia signed in December 2010 a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the in orbit delivery of the Túpac Katari 1 (TKSat-1) communications satellite. The spacecraft will be the first communications satellite of Bolivia and was named after a national hero, the 18th century Bolivian independence activist, Túpac Katari.
The satellite has 26 Ku-band, 2 C-band and 2 Ka-band transponders on board and has a service lifespan of 15 years. The satellite was launched on December 20th, 2013 on a CZ-3B/G2 booster operated by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). The spacecraft was constructed by China Academy for Space & Technology (CAST).
TKSat-1 started operation in March 2014. Bolivia, with a population of 11 million, opted to purchase their own telecommunications satellites to lower the cost of Internet, television and phone services in the country. The satellite is extending television and broadband connectivity to isolated regions of Bolivia, providing remote education (via teleconferencing and educational television) and telemedicine programs.
Two years after the launch of TKSat-1, 75% of the spacecraft’s transponders was sold to Bolivian government and commercial entities.
In 2019 ABE awarded satellite equipment manufacturer Newtec (now part of ST Engineering) for deploment of their Newtec Dialog® hub to extend access to residential broadband to at least another 6,000 users. The service will be delivered thru the TKSat-1 satellite in Ka-band.
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www.spacenews.com edition Decmeber 28th, 2015