Azerbaijan has chosen the company that will build the second telecommunications satellite Azerspace-2, Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov said on August 27.

The name of that company will be announced soon, Abbasov said.

The launching of the satellite in orbit is expected in late 2017 or early 2018, the minister added.

The tender for the construction of the satellite and the supply of equipment for the ground control center was bid on by the two U.S. companies Orbital and Space Systems Loral, the Chinese China Great Wall Industry Corporation, and France’s Airbus Defense and Space.

Work on the installation of ground station equipment must be completed no later than 2017, and the ready satellite shipped to the launch site before the end of 2017.

Azerbaijan expects the satellite to be built in 30 months.

Issues related to the insurance of the satellite will be resolved by the time of its launch.

The satellite will be placed in an orbital position of 45 degrees east longitude and will be leased by Azerbaijan side from the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, which will have rights to 45.9 percent of satellite resources.

The service area of Azerspace-2 will cover the countries of Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

The geostationary satellite Azerspace-2 will be equipped with Ku- and Ka-band transponders designed to provide digital broadcasting, Internet access, data transmission, creation of VSAT multi-service networks, and other services.

Azerbaijan entered the space club in February 2013 with the launch of the first Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1.

The satellite is designed to provide digital television, data transmission, VSAT multi-service networks, and governmental communications.

Azerspace-1 covers the countries of Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Azerbaijan’s satellite operator Azercosmos also jointly uses the low-earth-orbit satellites SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 together with the French company Airbus Defense and Space.