Commercial services are now being offered over Bolivia’s first telecommunications satellite, the BBC reports. With the Tupac Katari (TKSAT-1) satellite having been launched successfully in December 2013 from the Xinchang satellite launch centre in China, the introduction of commercial offerings follows a three-month trial period. The satellite is expected to provide internet and mobile phone connections to the 3.3 million Bolivians estimated to be living in unserved areas, while President Evo Morales has also suggested that the launch of satellite-based connectivity will bring down the cost of services, claiming that mobile rates could fall by as much as 20%. Initially only state-owned telecoms provider Entel and Bolivia TV are using the satellite, but it is understood that some 15 other national companies are expected to secure a connection to it within the coming weeks.
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