Afghanistan’s first satellite began successful operations in May 2014, ushering in a new era in the country’s telecommunications history. Known as Afghan sat 1, the satellite could bring $15 million in benefits to Afghanistan every year. It will facilitate the broadcast of high-quality radio and television programs from Afghanistan to South Asia and East Asia. While speaking about the satellite, Afghanistan’s minister of communications and information technology praised the country’s overall progress in mobile telecommunications, television and radio broadcasting, and Internet over the last 12 years.
Afghan sat 1 has an expected operational lifetime of seven years. In order to prepare for the retirement of the satellite, Afghanistan is developing a second satellite, as well. The satellite launches from part of a broader package of television and radio reform being implemented in Afghanistan, as the country looks to shift from analog to digital broadcasting to facilitate the airing of more radio and television stations.