In a successful transfer of technology, Bolivian personnel have taken over the operations of the country's Chinese-built Tupac Katari satellite, an official said Wednesday.
"Starting in April of this year, our supplier left Bolivian personnel 100 percent in charge of the operations of the satellite and ...the operations are progressing smoothly," the Bolivian News Agency reported, citing the director of the Bolivian Space Agency, Ivan Zambrana.
The agreement between the two countries called for Chinese experts to operate the satellite for two years alongside Bolivian engineers after the device began operating commercially in April 2014.
The Chinese technicians that helped to launch the project have now returned to China, said the report.
"The quality of the services is the same and, well, we are very pleased that the technological transfer process allows Bolivians to independently operate a communications satellite," said Zambrana.
Named in honor of an 18th-century indigenous Bolivian warrior who fought off the Spanish conquistadors, the satellite, which weighs 5.3 tons, and is 2.36 meters long and 2.1 meters wide, was designed to provide Internet service across much of Bolivia, as well as radio and communications emissions.
The state-run National Telecommunications Company is the main user of the satellite, which was launched on Dec. 21, 2013 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern province of Sichuan.
Through the satellite, the company hopes to expand mobile telephone, broadband Internet, TV and radio service throughout Bolivia, especially in remote communities.