(Yicai Global) Jan. 13 -- The Tiantong System, China's first independently-built satellite mobile communication system, officially started to serve the general public from Jan. 10, and China Telecommunications is its sole operator. Users can buy their own terminals that support the system online or via China Telecom's mobile app.
The Tiantong System, which uses the Tiantong-1 satellite launched in 2016, now fully covers China's landmass and territorial waters and provides users with all-weather mobile communication services, enabling them to make phone calls, send short messages, access the internet and enjoy location services within service areas via a mobile phone or terminal, China Media Group reported on Jan. 11.
China's domestic satellite mobile communication has long relied on foreign orbiters, including the UK's Marine Satellite, the UAEs' Thuraya and the US' Iridium Communications, in its emergency communication because of technical limitations.
China's Ministry of Emergency Management has included Tiantong's terminals and services in the guidelines for the informatization of emergency management, which expressly note that the satellite serves China's construction of an emergency communication system, said Chen Zhongyue, vice general manager of China Telecom. The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs will soon publish technical standards for ship on-board terminals to drive the informatization of the maritime and fisheries sectors.
The company has offered voice, short messaging and data services to over 30,000 customers in various industries that need secure remote data services, such as those in water conservancy, firefighting, forestry, armed police, electricity and oceans and fisheries since its trial operation began in March 2018. China Telecom has also supplied more than 3 million air passengers and 1,500 vessels with satellite and broadband communication services thus far.
Editor: Ben Armour