Turkmenistan will launch its first telecommunications satellite TurkmenAlem 520E in the first half of 2015, said the national TV channel “Turkmenistan”.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov visited the National Satellite Control Center in the Akhal velayat (region) of the country, according to the channel.

"Using their own multi-purpose spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2015, will not only make it possible to develop high-quality and reliable communication, improve the quality of the channels, but is also a cost-effective step," said the report.

TV channel quoted the president of Turkmenistan as saying that the satellite launch will promote the diversification of the economy and the implementation of science intensive projects.

In addition, Berdimuhammadov said that the operation of the satellite will give impetus to provide the whole territory of the country with high-speed Internet, and will also contribute to a better digital broadcast.

Satellite communication will promote the development of space research in Turkmenistan and "serve to increase the international prestige of the country," the president said.

TurkmenAlem 520E will be placed in geostationary orbit, about 36,000 kilometers away from the Earth's surface, according to the channel.

It was earlier reported that Turkmenistan's first telecommunications satellite is being built by the French Thales Alenia Space in line with the contract signed in 2011. The satellite will be launched by the SpaceX American company from Cape Canaveral, according to preliminary data.

The satellite will have three antennas that will cover a part of Europe, Africa and Asia. This satellite will allow Turkmenistan to make a significant breakthrough in the field of telecommunications and other applications such as the Internet and mobile communications.

The artificial satellite can be launched to reach the goals set for the country's national economy. In particular, it will be possible to monitor agricultural fields, conduct research for the oil and gas industry's needs and to carry out environmental surveillance from the space.