Algeria has become the latest African country with a telecoms satellite following the successful launch of Alcomsat-1 by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) aboard a Long March 3B rocket.
The Alcomsat-1 satellite will support television broadcasting as well as broadband communications for remote education, e-government, and other services.
According to CGWIC, the 5,225-kilogram satellite carries a 33-transponder payload comprised of 19 in Ku-band, 12 in Ka-band and two in L-band.
The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) will operate Alcomsat-1, which has a design life of 15 years.
The satellite was built by CGWIC which also provided the launch vehicle, sidestepping manufacturing and rocket restrictions tied to U.S. components which are in most other commercial telecom satellites.
CGWIC described the launch as "a good beginning of space cooperation," between China and Algeria, and that "more space programs are expected to be initiated soon."
The Alcomsat-1 programme received backing from Chinese satellite operator China Satcom which provided frequency coordination and system definition.