Posted by: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy Anouar Maarouf announced, on Thursday, the election of Tunisia as member of the Arabsat Board of Directors.

He also said it will chair the 42nd Annual Conference of the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation.

Speaking at the closing of the conference, organised by the Arabsat in Gammarth, Maarouf stressed the role of Tunisia in promoting the activity of Arabsat, which is one of the world’s largest telecommunications operators, despite the difficulties of co-ordination among member countries,.

The organisation is a unique model for joint Arab work, particularly in the field of technology, he pointed out.

The minister recalled that Arabsat has two satellite control stations, the first of which is located in Tunisia (Edkhila region of Manouba), while the second is located in Saudi Arabia.

Tunisia had reached an agreement with Arabsat in early 2018 for the establishment of a new satellite station within the National Broadcasting Corporation (ONT).

Under this agreement, Tunisian television and radio channels will be broadcast directly on Arabsat, without going to another terrestrial station, which will help improve the quality of services and launch, from Tunisia, high definition digital television channels.

For his part, Arabsat CEO Khaled Ben Ahmed Balkheyour said his organisation is looking to build two industrial satellites, costing over $ 600 million (about 1,440 million dinars) which will strengthen the organisation’s coverage in Europe and Africa in terms of Internet services, television broadcasting and military and maritime communications services.

Both stations will be ready between the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

The official said at the meeting, which saw the presence of a number of Arab ministers of telecommunications and information that the profits made by Arabsat, during reached 120 million dollars in 2017 (the equivalent of 288 million dinars).