China officially starts its own mobile communication satellite service

China has finally started its own mobile satellite phone service two years after launching its Tiantong-1 01 mobile communications satellite into orbit.

This marks China’s first satphone system which will help the country eliminate their dependence on foreign mobile communications satellites.

The country decided to develop their own satellite after a major earthquake hit Wenchuan, southwest China’s Sichuan province in 2008. The quake put an end to all ground communication systems, and the whole disaster relief depended on foreign satellite systems.

The satellite, named “Tiantong-1 01”, was delivered in 2010 and launched on Aug. 6, 2016 from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center by a Long March 3B Rocket.

The satellite features broad coverage and strong communication capabilities. It enables China to break international barriers so that the communication system can serve local people and organizations in a better and safer way.

In addition, China also unveiled its first all-mode satellite mobile phone. The phone can be used as an ordinary phone in cities, but can also be turned to satellite mode in places with poor connection.