Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) communications satellite GSAT-16 was launched successfully and put on a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by the European launcher Ariane 5 VA221, from the Kourou space port in French Guiana.

GSAT-16‘s 48 transponders – 12 in the C band, 12 in the extended C and 24 in the Ku band – cover the entire country and the Andaman & Nicobar islands.

With a lift-off mass of 3,181kg, GSAT-16 carries a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest by a communication satellite developed by the Isro so far. GSAT-16 was delivered on an Ariane 5 rocket along with US broadcast satellite DIRECTV-14.

GSAT-16 will be used by television, telephone, Internet, public and private operators. It replaces the INSAT-3E — which expired in April this year — at 55 degrees East longitude.

GSAT-16, with a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years, will boost public and private TV and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations.

GSAT-16 will replace INSAT-3E, which was decommissioned prematurely in April. It is the 18th satellite launched by Arianespace for Isro.

The cost of the satellite, built by ISRO in Bengaluru, and Arianespace’s launch fee are put at around Rs. 880 crore. The satellite now goes around Earth in a temporary elliptical one about 36,000 km at one end and it must be adjusted gradually into a circular one.