Brazil to launch satellite for military purposes


Rio de Janeiro : Brazil will launch a satellite for military purposes and to expand broadband Internet service throughout the country, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo Silva said, adding that officials hope to have the satellite operational in time for the 2014 soccer World Cup tournament in the South American nation.

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The satellite will require an investment of about 750 million reais ($410 million) and will be developed by state-owned telecom firm Telebras and aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

The minister said that the satellite will offer broadband Internet connectivity to towns in the Amazon region and other remote areas where it is not profitable to install Internet lines.

“We have a very large number of municipalities and towns in very remote regions where the construction of cables or conventional radio technology encounters great difficulties,” Silva said in remarks broadcast by the state-run Agencia Brasil news agency.

The satellite will also serve the communications needs of the armed forces.

The launch will be made outside Brazil because the country’s two domestic launch sites still lack the technology to put a craft as heavy as the new satellite – six tonnes – into geostationary orbit.

Brazil has had the technology to manufacture satellites since 1985, when it launched the first South American communications satellite, the property of then-state-owned Embratel.

The South American giant has two other satellites in orbit to gather environmental data and three others that it shares with China dedicated to scientific purposes.