China to boost first large direct broadcasting satellite into orbit

China will be launching its first large direct broadcasting satellite at the end of the month to meet the needs of the country's rapidly developing TV market, according to a report from the China Business News.

The report said SINOSAT-2, capable of carrying radio and TV signals across the country, would be launched on Oct. 29 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to SINO Satellite Communications (SINOSAT), a Beijing-based state-owned telecom satellite operator.

The report quoted Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration, as saying that the satellite would enable every farming household to receive TV signals using a small dish, bringing educational programs and even remote medical services to farmers.

SINOSAT-2, designed and developed by China alone, had a 15-year mission life and would provide TV and radio transmissions, digital films, direct TV and digital broadband, the company said, according to the report.

'The launch will be a milestone for the satellite industry,' SINOSAT chief engineer Min Changning was quoted as saying.

Industry analysts predicted that once individuals are allowed to install satellite dishes, up to 100 million households would do so between 2006 and 2010, the report said.