The domestic media are reporting that China has signed an agreement with Alcatel Space Company to purchase the latter's Zhong Xing No. 9 Television Broadcasting Satellite, which is expected to be put into use by the second half of 2006, and to form a new television broadcasting system with China's own satellite to help solve the TV reception difficulties that the country's 280 million rural residents currently face.
It is predicted that the Zhong Xing No. 9 Live Broadcasting Satellite will be launched by China's Long March 3B Carrier Rocket to ensure safe and reliable broadcasting. It is also said that the satellite's power has reached as high as 11,000 watts, with a life expectancy of over 15 years, and 22 Ku frequency transmitters. Upon adoption of the satellite, it is expected that 97% of Chinese will be able to watch live TV programs by using a 0.45-0.6 meter antenna.