Egypt to send its first communication satellite into orbit

Egypt will launch its first communication satellite into orbit, a move it says will improve its communications infrastructure and Internet services, and attract investment.

The Tiba-1 satellite named after the ancient city of Thebes, or Tiba in Arabic, is due to launch at 2108 GMT on one of Europe’s Arianespace rockets from a space centre in French Guiana, officials said.

‘The Satellite will provide Egypt with a parallel communications network alongside the current land network and a strong telecommunications infrastructure,’ Mohamed Elkoosy, executive director of the Egyptian Space Agency, told Reuters.

‘The growth of the economy depends on a strong communication network’, he added.

The Egyptian Space Agency will run the satellite from a control centre in Cairo.

Egyptian Communications Minister Amr Talaat said in a statement that the satellite ‘represents a significant qualitative leap in the field of communications and information technology (ICT)’.

Tiba-1’s coverage area includes some neighbouring Arab and African countries, to which Egypt may sell satellite services in the future.