Leading up to the launch of Afghansat-1, the satellite was expected to make up to $15 million USD a year for the country but on Monday officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) said it only just covered its costs last year and generated no profit.
French-based satellite fleet operator Eutelsat signed a strategic partnership with the Afghan government over Afghansat-1 three years ago. Under the terms of agreement, government pays the company $4 million USD a year.
Afghansat-1’s aim is to provide digital broadcast services to the country thereby supporting a wide range of services including broadcasting, mobile telephony back-haul and IP connectivity.
However, Afghansat-1 has not turned a profit and was only able to cover its costs last year.
“The satellite is active and offers services. It does not generate an income and also does not have extra expenses,” Najib Nangialay, MoCIT spokesman said.
The satellite is supposed to deliver full national coverage and provide extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East, under the multi-year agreement. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that currently part of the satellite service is inactive.
A number of tech experts meanwhile said government has not done anything to promote the services and that MoCIT does not have any plans to expand the service.
“Government does not have a good plan in place to use Afghansat and that is why Afghansat is not generating more revenue,” said Sadeya, a technology analyst.
According to the ministry, Afghanistan will use the services up to 2021.