Next Stop is Vietnam


Remember those words from a song by Country Joe & The Fish at Woodstock (1969)? I think of it when I hear somebody mention Vietnam. One of many anti-war songs of its time. Not many people are protesting Vietnam these days. Country Joe McDonald is still busy, however, performing this weekend at the Golden Gate Park "Summer of Love" Event. [Follow that link: Bill O’Reilly of Fox News went to see him at Hippiefest last month]

Vietnam is high-tech now, Joe. Much as many TV/satcom people are converging on Amsterdam next week for the IBC Show, the trade show known as TechMart Vietnam seems to hold its own in Southeast Asia — and the Vietnamese economy is doing very well. In preparation of that show, anticipated to be the biggest ever, we read in VietNamNet Bridge of two new satellite earth stations being built to manage the Vinasat-1 spacecraft:

The Vietnam Telecom International Company (VTI) has set up the Vinasat Satellite Information Centre to manage and operate on-land satellite operating stations.

The centre also will provide services related to Vinasat satellite. The first mission of this new centre is overseeing the installation of two satellite operating stations in Ha Tay province in the north and Binh Duong province in the south and training staffs to operate Vinasat satellite.
Vinasat satellite will be launched by Lockheed Martin Corporation of the US while Canada’s Telesat is supervising the construction of the satellite.

According to VTI, the launching of Vinasat is scheduled for March 28, 2008 at Kourou launching pad in French Guiana. Vinasat can cover Vietnam, Southeast Asia, China, North Korea, India, Japan and Australia.

Once the satellite is launched, VTI will provide various services based on Vinasat such as private channel leasing, mobile broadcasting, DTH television, video conference, data transmission service for banks, etc.

The satellite’s expected to go into the 132° East orbital slot, and it’s via in-orbit delivery:

The satellite system will be based on Lockheed Martin’s award-winning A2100A spacecraft platform and represents the first satellite system ever procured by the nation of Vietnam. VINASAT-1, a C-/Ku-band hybrid satellite designed for a minimum service life of 15 years, will be located at orbital slot 132 degrees east. 

Under the terms of the delivery-in-orbit contract signed May 12, 2006 in Hanoi, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) will manage the project in its entirety, from satellite design and manufacturing to launch procurement arrangements, followed by final extensive in-orbit testing before customer acceptance.

The satellite system is expected to improve telecommunications in Vietnam by transmitting radio, television and telephone communications to all corners of the country.  VINASAT-1 also will improve the nation’s communication networks infrastructure by removing dependence on ground networks and allowing 100% of Vietnam’s rural communities and hamlets to be equipped with telephones and televisions.

“VINASAT-1 will provide state-of-the-art technology that will help Vietnam enhance its role in modern world trade,” said LMCSS President Ted Gavrilis.  “As Vietnam continues to improve its investment and business environment, it will also enter the communications marketplace using a strong, reliable telecommunications network with VINASAT-1 as its anchor.” 

VNPT, the company paying for this bird, is expected to use it very effectively a "leapfrog" technology throughtout the country. Probably will increase competition in Asia, too.