27 Jun 2012

China involved in new satellite for Pacific Island countries

3:08 pm on 27 June 2012

China is among donors involved in a new satellite telecommunications programme to serve seven Pacific Island countries.

A former Vanuatu Prime Minister Barak Sope was at a signing ceremony in Hong Kong last week for the project involving a consortium and Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

The satellite to be launched by Pacific Islands-Republic Communications is expected to be operating in three years.

It involves Russia and Hong Kong-based companies Time Technologia and Peixin Investment.

A telecommunications analyst Paul Budde says although not much has been revealed, it's a significant development for the countries involved.

"In one way or another the countries that are involved have committed to this deal. It could well be that the governments just simply gave the nod and said try it. Another scenario is that governments will actively participate because obviously there are a number of services that are in the national interest."

Telecommunications analyst Paul Budde