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Afghanistan Signs First Satellite Deal

First Vice President Mohammad Yonus Qanoni during inauguration ceremony of Afghanistan's new satellite.
Afghanistan on May 10 started using its first ever satellite, AFGHANSAT 1, which will support a wide range of services, including broadcasting, telecommunications, and international connectivity.

The Afghan government has signed a contract with European satellite operator, Eutelsat to deploy the in-orbit satellite.

Information Technology and Telecommunications Minister Amirzai Sangin said it was a "historic move" to boost Afghanistan's national broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure.

Sangin said Kabul is renting the satellite for $4 million a year and expects to earn $15 million annually from it.

The telecommunication sector and a growing digital media industry are among Afghanistan's biggest achievements since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan