January 2020


Akash DTH is a DTH platform for Bangladesh. It commenced operations in May 2019, a year after the launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite @ 119.09°E.

Akash is owned and operated by Beximco Communications. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Faisal Hyder explained "We are the first & biggest customer on Bangabandhu-1. We offer more than 120 channels, including 40 HD channels. We promote Bangladeshi channels, many of whom broadcast in HD."


The Bangabandhu-1 Satellite is Bangladesh's first geostationary communications & broadcasting Satellite. Manufactured by Thales Alenia Space the satellite was launched on 11 May 2018.

Initially planned to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 16 December 2017, to celebrate Victory day of Bangladesh, it was ultimately launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, when Ariane could not provide a suitable launch slot.

The satellite is named after the father of the nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, often called Bangabandhu. It is owned by government-owned Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, (BCSCL).


Bangabandhu-1 carries 14 C-band and 26 Ku-band transponders. It has a predicted orbital life of 18 years.

The satellite's Ku Band footprint covers Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, as well as East Indian states (West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh).


The Akash DTH STB is priced at Taka 3,799 (₹ 3,191) and provides HD reception.

The channels can be subscribed at a flat rate of Taka 399 per month for all channels. Akash DTH also offers a STB + Annual subscription to all its channels for Bangladeshi Taka 5,999. (₹ 4,955).


In April, FreeDish collected ₹ 6.62 crore from its first-ever e-auction of 15, MPEG-4 slots at an average of ₹ 44.17 lakh per slot. Given the very few MPEG-4 iCAS receivers, the bidder's returns are questionable.

In February 2019 (last FY), FreeDish collected ₹ 394.49 crore from the sale of 40 MPEG-2 slots.

FreeDish is managed by a 40-person team at Doordarshan. n