Africa's first domestic earth satellite communications system was placed in formal operation on Friday (25 July) by the President of Algeria, Houari Boumedienne.
GV Satellite station and crowds
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Sign TO Reflectors (2 shots)
SV President cuts ribbon and enters and ministers applaud
SV INTERIOR President watches incoming satellite feed from Washington and talks to technicians (3 shots)
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Background: Africa's first domestic earth satellite communications system was placed in formal operation on Friday (25 July) by the President of Algeria, Houari Boumedienne.
Using an Intelsat (International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation) satellite, the system links 14 widely separated population centres throughout the country.
It provides high-quality telephone and television communications between trading, mining and tourist communities from the Mediterranean to the heart of the Sahara Desert.
Previously these areas had to rely on high-frequency radio communications which can be interrupted or distorted by interference and atmospheric conditions.
By successfully negotiating to lease spare capacity on an Intelsat satellite, the government has avoided prohibitive costs -- while at the same time creating speedy and clear communications spanning the Persian Gulf to the west coast of the United States.
The government regards the new communications link as a major boost for the economic, social and cultural development of Algeria. Plans are well advanced for national education television programmes and international television link-ups.
Over 200 people attended the inauguration ceremony, including representatives of the United States Government, Japan, Morocco, and Tunisia.
The government has also announced approval for the building of a second intercontinental station, which will allow contact with countries east of the Persian Gulf as Japan.