Doha 30th August 2013: Qatar has successfully launched its first satellite Es’hail 1, into space at around 11.30pm, on Thursday from the European Spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana.
The Es’hail 1 was taken into space by Arianespace’s rocket Ariane 5. Es’hail is the name of a star which becomes clear in the night sky around the end of August. The name of star in Arabic is ‘Al Suhail’ and the term is pronounced as Is-suhail or Es’hail’.
A 47-member Qatari delegation led by the Telecoms and IT Minister, H E Dr Hessa Al Jaber and CEO of Qatar Satellite Company Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari were present at the launching ceremony.
“Eshail 1 should also improve TV, data and voice services across the Gulf, because it has been built with “advanced anti-interference technology,” said al Kuwari.
“This new satellite will enable us to reach remote places that ordinary internet lines can’t reach at the moment. We cannot say that we will prevent interference completely, but we can guarantee reducing interference to the lowest level,” he added.
The company has also previously stated that the Eshail 1 would benefit the broadband and TV broadcast needs required for Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Es’hailSat, is an independent company which started as the Qatar Satellite Company in 2010.. The satellite would have cost between $662m (QR2.41bn) and $1.05bn (QR3.85bn) from preparation, manufacturing and launch, according to experts.
Eshail 1 navigates at 25.5 degrees east and will provide a wider and clearer range for telecommunication services. It is expected to start providing services by December this year.
Es’hail also plans to launch Eshail 2 by the end 2016-17 for giving back-up capacity to Eshail 1 and allow it to extend the range of services offered. It will broadcast from 26 degrees east.