China launched its first satellite for mobile communications, which will serve China, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Tiantong-1 satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and will be operated by China Telecom.
Xinhua said additional satellites operating in the S-band will be added to the mobile communications network as demand grows.
The satellite project is aimed at delivering mobile service in hard-to-reach areas and as backup during national disasters.
Tiantong-1 is a key component of the country’s space programme.