MEASAT Global Bhd is on track to launch its most recent advanced satellite infrastructure, the Measat-3d, which can increase the broadband capacity 10-fold, on June 22, 2022.
The launch will be its first mission to close the digital gap for rural areas by equipping their communities with high-speed Internet via Measat’s sole rural server CONNECTme NOW satellite broadband service.
Measat COO Yau Chyong Lim said the company aims to expand the coverage to 10,000 sites in the next three years that will benefit two million people, especially in the rural community in East Malaysia which currently have no or limited access to the internet.
It is estimated that in Malaysia, 3% to 5% of the population still resides in areas with limited Internet coverage, and Measat aims to fill this gap through the launch of this multi-mission satellite.
Measat-3d will also complement the co-located Measat-3a and Measat-3b satellites at the 91.5° East orbital hotspot, replacing old capacity and building resilience for Measat’s fleet of satellites.
In addition, the new satellite will also provide in-orbit redundancy and growth capability for Astro’s direct-to-home (DTH) service, as well as regional television and telecommunications services.
Costing around RM1.2 billion, Measat-3d’s lifespan estimation is up to 18 years, uses the Eurostar 3000 built by Airbus, and is equipped with a chemical propulsion system.
Yau added that as the Internet is no more a luxury but a necessity, Measat is a significant investment that will enable a digitally inclusive society and raise socioeconomic activity among the targeted communities.
“With greater Internet connectivity, people will be able to participate in digital learning and e-commerce activity, as well as enjoying the Internet broadcasting and content streaming services in line with the ecosystem growth,” he said.
Through Measat-3d, the high-speed internet availability will be enhanced from the current 30Mbps download speed to 100Mbps, enabling users to seamlessly stream data-heavy content such as 4K/8K videos.
Yau also said along with the satellite technology advancement, the company will also step up to support greater bandwidth demands, which in turn becomes a catalyst for new applications, such as IR4.0 and the Internet of Things.
The satellite will support the government’s target to achieve 100% Internet access by 2025 as indicated in the MyDigital blueprint, as well as Jendela (Jalinan Digital Negara) targets for connecting and digitising the nation.
“As an interconnected society, we must ensure that these exciting technologies are not limited to urban areas only where there are fewer physical and cost barriers to introducing new technologies,” Yau said.
To date, Measat has rolled out more than 3,000 CONNECTme NOW sites nationwide, with a majority in the remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak and works closely with state governments to provide subsidised subscriptions for rural residents.
Measat has been operating satellites for almost 25 years since the launch of Measat-1 and Measat-2 in 1996. Measat-3 was launched in 2006, followed by Measat-3a in 2009, and Measat-3b in 2014.
This multipurpose satellite is slated to launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. View page