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Outer Space Becomes Closer

Organized on 21 April 2015 by COMNEWS Group, the 7th International conference Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 was attended by more than 200 professionals of the Russian and global satellite market. It was the largest national assembly of players in satellite communications and broadcasting field, which marked the beginning of a new era in mass satellite broadband internet access (BIA) in Russia.

The general partners of Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 were “Gazprom Space Systems” (GSS), the operator of the satellite constellation Yamal, and the State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs” (Vnesheconombank). The official partner of the conference was “National Satellite Company” (the Tricolor TV brand); the international satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space had a partner status. The gold sponsor was the company SES, which owns one of the largest satellite constellations; the bronze sponsors were Gilat Satellite Networks and “Ingosstrakh”. The sessions were sponsored by the companies iDirect, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Morsviazsputnik” and Hughes Network Systems. The international satellite operator Intelsat S.A.,as well as the companies Eastar and Keysight Technologies had a participant status.

Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 was prepared with the support of the Federal Communications Agency (Rossvyaz), Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the International Telecommunications Academy (ITA), the Centre of International Business Assistance (MCIBA), the Association of Regional Telecom Operators (ARTO), the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC), GIS-Association, the Association “GLONASS/GNSS-Forum” and the Russian Association of Aviation and Space Insurers (RAASI).

The welcome speech of the forum was made by Nikolay Sevastyanov, Director General of “Gazprom Space Systems”. He reminded the participants of the forum that satellite carriers initially started the space commercialization. According to him, in 15 years the market has grown practically from zero level to more than 70 thousand satellite stations throughout Russia. Igor Chursin, Deputy Head of Rossvyaz, highlighted the great importance of satellite communications for public administration, informing the citizens and developing government social programmes. Oleg Demidov, Head of Department for Innovations and High Technology at Vnesheconombank, said that satellite projects have a considerable share in the portfolio of this bank, the largest state-owned investment bank in Russia.

The first session of Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 was devoted to the present and the future of the satellite telecommunications market in Russia and abroad. The special report “Satellite communications and broadcasting in the Russian Federation” was made by Maxim Mysev, Head of Project and Analysis Division at the Department of Infrastructure Projects, Ministry of Communications and Mass Media. He highlighted a significant growth of the national satellite constellation from December 2013: six modern spacecrafts were added to it. According to him, two more communications satellites of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Satellite Communications” will be launched in 2015, and they will ultimately cover the resource deficit. The representative of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Minsvyaz) said that the failed launches had revealed a problem related to the insurance of launch funds by the enterprises of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Together with Roscosmos, Minsvyaz obtained insurance for rockets in 2015; he views it as a certain guarantee for carriers. Minsvyaz is proud to have contributed to signing a new kind of contract for satellite manufacturing, which will also give operators greater certainty about the future. The Space Communications Working Group continues its operation within the Government Commission on Communications, and Maxim Mysev invited market players to join this open working space. The official of Minsvyaz urged satellite companies to participate more actively in the federal special purpose development programme for Crimea and Sevastopol, which opens new opportunities for the industry. He also gave a hint about Government Resolution No. 1194, which is also related to using satellites of foreign countries on the territory of the Russian Federation. In addition, Maxim Mysev urged market players to take part in the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015, which may help allocate additional private resources for expanding the possibilities of modern satellite communications.

Dmitry Sevastyanov, General Director of “Gazprom Space Systems” (GSS) made a plenary report on the company’s new opportunities in providing telecommunications and geo-information services. He noted that the company had implemented five satellite projects on extrabudgetary project basis. Now the constellation Yamal consisting of four satellites provides resource on the whole territory of the Eastern hemisphere – 70 countries of the world with more than 3 billion people. The GSS overland infrastructure and range of services are growing rapidly. They are used by more than 40 Gazprom companies and hundreds of other companies, recently also by private clients. Until 2020, GSS plans to launch two more communications satellites and two Earth Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites. Besides, GSS is about to establish its own satellite assembling.

Ludmila Naumova, Senior Regional Director for Europe, Russia and CIS at SES gave information about the experience of cooperation between national and international players on the Russian market. Around 55 SES satellites on the geostationary orbit provide services to the countries around the world. The operator also has earth stations, teleports and optical communication lines all over the globe. The company SES has been operating in Russia and CIS since 1999, it is involved in all satellite market segments for business and the state, including BIA. Ludmila Naumova also highlighted the advanced technical competence of the Russian experts, which in many aspects balances the difficult geographical and climate conditions. The representative of SES also highlighted the impressive growth and evolution of the Russian market, and great interest towards new services and technologies here, including Ka-band and BIA.

Answering the question of Yury Prokhorov, General Director of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Russian Satellite Communications" (RSCC), Ludmila Naumova confirmed the expansion plans of SES, including global broadcasting services in Ultra HD format.
Yury Vygonsky, Deputy General Designer of the Russian satellite manufacturer, “Information Satellite Systems” named after academician M.F. Reshetnev” (ISS- Reshetnev) reported on building satellites based on platforms of the Express series. He noted that engines had been installed on board of the latest “Expresses”, and ISS had managed the task of putting the satellites into the orbit. In the future, this innovation will allow to expand satellites’ variations and the mass of the vehicles based on the Express-2000 platform. He paid extra emphasis to the ideology and practice of import substitution. ISS have been manufacturing absolutely Russian contour and multi-beam antennas for a long time. ISS prepares original payloads, mainly, for the latest Luch vehicles, the new satellites for federal needs.

The session resumed with a speech by Mario Iwanow, Senior Account Director at Intelsat S.A. in Russia. He gave information about new generation satellite technology with high spectral efficiency and bandwidth, which is bound to cover the global deficit of satellite capacity completely.

The second session of Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 focused on development prospects of satellite communications, television and radio broadcasting and broadband access services. Satellite broadband communications were the theme of the majority of reports. Julia Babkina, Head of Residential Market Department at GSS spoke about the starting point of rendering and promoting satellite BIA on the market to corporate and private users. Mikhail Pykhov, CTO of Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia) described the development of modern satellite BIA in detail. Alexey Kluev, Technical Director for Russia & CIS at iDirect gave information about the new possibilities of the iDirect platform. Konstantin Lanin, Head of the Representation and Regional Director in Russia at Hughes Network Systems spoke about satellite broadband technology for all key satellite communications users. Andrey Kuropyatnikov, Director General of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Morsviazsputnik spoke about the past and the future of the Russian segment of the global mobile satellite communications system Inmarsat. Pavel Bakanov, CEO of Eastar reported on the new opportunities of VSAT networks on the platform EASTAR UHP, Alexander Luchinin, Head of Telecommunications Sector at Keysight Technologies – on his company’s new solutions for satellite operators.

The session continued with a round table on the development prospects of mass satellite BIA. The participants of this discussion were Mikhail Glinka, Head of Innovative Projects Introduction Department at the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Russian Satellite Communications" (RSCC); Alexander Klimov, CEO of Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia); Dmitry Gordienko, Head of Broadband Service Implementation at RuSat; Mikhail Shestakov, Technical Head of “StarBlazer” Project at StarBlazer, LLC; Evgeny Usov, CTO of CJSC “GTNT”; Sergey Pekhterev, Head of CG AltegroSky. They discussed issues related to the formation of mass satellite BIA market, satellite BIA systems on mobile objects, technical support and logistics, aspects of rate setting and marketing of retail satellite BIA.

The second part of the forum day started with a round table, devoted to managing the funding and insurance of commercial risks by satellite operators. The participants of the round table included Natalia Ramazanova, Deputy Director General on Economy and Finance at GSS; Alexander Mikhailov, Head of Space and Telecommunications Department at Vnesheconombank; Alexander Podchufarov, Vice President of OJSIC “Ingosstrakh”; Taras Fouzik, CEO of CJSC “Insurance Brokers Malakut Constellation"; Pavel Shutov, President of the Russian Association of Aviation and Space Insurers (RAASI); Andrey Afanasyev, Deputy CEO of Gazprom Investproject. They discussed the opportunities for funding, providing loans and insurance to satellite projects in the face of economic recession and international sanctions against Russia. Besides, they spoke about the key aspects of investment projects to create satellite assets, possibilities to fund satellite carriers’ investment programmes during the crisis, acquiring syndicated loans for space industry, the role of export credit agencies, rick management while designing, building, launch and orbital operation of spacecrafts, and about innovative approaches to insurance of space risks.

The evening session of Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 was devoted to satellite technologies of Earth remote sensing. The speakers were Susmita Mohanty, CEO of Earth2Orbit (E2O) with her report “Small Satellites + Analytics = Actionable Intelligence from Space”, and Valeriy Zaichko, Deputy Head of Automatic Space Systems Department at the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), made a report “The system of remote sensing from space in Russia: state and development prospects”.

The session ended with a round table “ERS prospects in the interests of business and government in Russia”. The participants of this round table included Alexey Belyakov, Executive Director of the Cluster of Space Technologies and Telecommunications at Skolkovo Fund; Valeriy Zaichko, Deputy Head of Automatic Space Systems Department at the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos); Vladimir Lazutin, Deputy Chief Designer at Gazprom Space Systems; Vladimir Gershenzon, Member of the Board of Directors at R&D Center ScanEx; Mikhail Bolsunovskiy, First Deputy Director General of Sovzond Company; Alexander Prisyazhnyuk, Deputy Chief of Scientific Center for Earth Operative Monitoring at OJSC “Russian Space Systems”. They discussed the amendment of the Concept of Russian Earth remote sensing system until 2025, adopted in 2006. The topics of discussion included commercial users of information from ERS nanosatellites, liberalization of acquiring and presenting the Russian ERS data of high definition, etc.

The participants of the conference Satellite Russia & CIS 2015 praised the impressive array of speakers, as well as great opportunities to establish business connections, and valuable exclusive knowledge obtained during the conference.

Igor Kot, Deputy Director General for Marketing and Business Planning of Gazprom Space Systems, noted: “I consider the independence and broad views of the conference’s organizers to be critically important. This way, it is possible to attract the biggest Russian and foreign market players as participants, as well as national industry regulators. An important development stage of the conference, to my mind, was the round table devoted to funding and insurance for satellite projects. In addition, of course the subject of satellite BIA is evidently gaining momentum, shifting from forecasts to the practical field. I hope that all these issues of major importance, and also the issues of ERS and satellite television and radio broadcasting, will be sufficiently expanded at Satellite Russia & CIS 2016”.

COMNEWS invites all players of the satellite communications and broadcasting market to take part in the next year’s forum – Satellite Russia & CIS 2016!




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