China on Friday launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for its close ally Pakistan.
It was launched in the early hours on Friday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The satellite was carried by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, Chinese official agency Xinhua reported.
PAKSAT-1R will provide a range of services including broadband internet, telecom and broadcasting, covering some regions of Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and the eastern Africa, besides a host of defence applications.
The satellite will replace Paksat-1. The life span of the satellite was stated to be 15 years.
The Paksat-1R satellite is designed and manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Pakistan's official APP news agency reported.
The satellite carries communication payload to facilitate the introduction of a range of new services, including broadband internet, digital television broadcasting, remote and rural telephony, emergency communications, tele-education and tele-medicine.
The satellite has 30 transponders onboard, including 12 C band and 18 Ku band transponders. To meet the coverage requirements, Paksat-1R has advance communication antennas, covering South Asian sub-continent, the Middle East, east Africa and part of Western European areas and cities.
China and Pakistan share a long history of space technology cooperation. Pakistan's first low-orbit satellite, BADR-A, was launched by China in 1990 with Long March 2E rocket, it said.