Risku Ezra Hedima MSS16 – NIGCOMSAT: my Internship Experience

"I am currently undergoing my internship as part of ISU’s Master of Space Studies Program (MSS16) at NIGCOMSAT Ltd Abuja, Nigeria. My internship topic is: The Future of Communication Satellites for Broadband Services in Africa: A Case for Nigcomsat Limited.

Presently, Africa remains the least connected in terms of data services, especially broadband. It has the highest fees for the lowest connection, compared with other parts of the world. To remedy the situation, several companies and consortiums have laid undersea cable to the shores of many African countries to serve as transmission backbone. Even with this, a large population of Africa is still unreached by terrestrial and fibre cable networks due to some challenges.

It is against this backdrop that NIGCOMSAT intends to deploy broadband services using High Throughput satellite (HTS) on Ka-band. My study/research therefore is to ascertain the strategies, modalities, competitions, challenges and the viability of Ka-band. This would enable them to decide the number of Ka-band transponders to be included in their planned NIGCOMSAT 1 & 2 satellites.

I work with the Network Operating Center (NOC) of the Engineering Department. Besides my internship research, I have taken part in two Station Keeping operations of NIGCOMSAT-1R satellite Also, I have participated in the current effort by NIGCOMSAT to deploy Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) using the Chinese Differential Reference Augmentation Global Overlay Network (DRAGON). Here I work with a Team to coordinate the requirements of various stakeholders.

I work under the supervision of my mentor Engineer Abdulraheem Adajah who is the General Manager Satellite Applications, Nicomsat Limited."