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By | August 23, 2000

      Iran’s Deputy Minister of Post, Telegraph and Telephone for National Affairs, Mehdi Tabeshian, said that the tender process to build the national satellite Zohreh is underway, although he did not say when a contract would be awarded.

      Tabeshian said the satellite will be put into orbit 36,000km from earth and added that the satellite will have a capacity of beaming 12 channels. Seven of these are designed for providing audio-video coverage, with five channels to be used for telecommunication purposes.

      The minister stated that so far, several countries have shown interest in the project, although he did not name any, and the winner will build the satellite.

      He also said Iran has two more satellite projects of interest to contractors. One is called Mesbah and will have an initial capital of $10 million (E10.95 million). Mesbah is scheduled to be operational in the next three years and will be placed in orbit 800km from earth.

      In addition, he noted that there is a multipurpose satellite planned to be built in co-operation with China, Thailand, South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Mongolia. This satellite will be used for transmission of audio – including voice mail – and transfer of data, as well as other scientific uses.

      Tabeshian said that due to high mountain ranges in the north and east of Iran, and large desert area in the central regions of the country using ground-based telecommunication system to reach distant areas with low populations ty is not economical.

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