The Bolivian government plans to install 1,000 telecentres designed to provide telephony, TV and internet services via the country’s Tupac Katari satellite by March 2014, according to BNamericas, which cites local press reports. It is understood that the centres will be constructed in La Paz, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Cochabamba, Pando, Beni, Chuquisaca, Oruro and Tarija departments, with the locations set to see the greatest number of centres being La Paz (246), Potosi (232) and Santa Cruz (133). Commenting on the plans, the head of Agencia Boliviana Espacial (ABE), Bolivia’s space agency, Antonio Torrico, was cited as saying: ‘This is a satellite access system to provide internet, telephony and TV to people in schools, health centres or municipal offices.’
Bolivia’s Tupac Katari satellite is being built in China and is expected to be completed in October 2013, with a launch date of 20 December having been set. In December 2011 Bolivia inked a USD300 million deal with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the construction of the satellite, which will be used to bolster communications in rural and remote areas of the country.