Satellite Communications Spectrum – Assessing User Needs for Connectivity

Jun 17, 2014 | News

Report on “Satellite Communications Spectrum – Assessing User Needs for Connectivity” seminar -co-organized by GVF and ITSO on 1st June 2014 in Bahrain

The seminar was organised as part of the pre-event programme for the ITU Global Regulators Symposium (GSR-14) on 2nd – 3rd June 2014 in Manama, Bahrain. GSR-14 itself attracted around 650 senior level national telecom/ICT regulators and industry representatives, with around 150 attending the pre-events.

David Hartshorn gave an introduction which emphasised the many different users of satellite communications and the need to ensure sufficient spectrum remains available which is free from interference.

The BBC presentation, which I also gave as a representative of the European Broadcasting Union and WBU-ISOG, focused on satellite communications from the broadcasters’ perspective. Noting the BBC’s public service remit and the public purposes the BBC is obliged to carry out, it emphasised the huge audiences and (in the case of BBC World and Worldwide)the significant commercial revenue which depend on satellite communications. These are crucial for contributions for both national and international content and also for the international distribution of radio, TV and on-line services. BBC experience of interference to our C-band downlinks and concerns about it increasing were highlighted and the WBU-ISOG position on C-band was discussed, as was the draft CASBAA Report on C-band TVROs. The presentation was well-received by delegates and copies of the CASBAA report were circulated to attendees.

The second presentation, by Richard Womersley from LS Telecom, outlined their analysis of the ITU’s IMT spectrum forecasts in ITU-R Report M.2290, questioning the validity of some of the inputs made. This work is to be presented to ITU Working Party 5D (origin of ITU-R Report M.2290) next week for consideration.

Finally, representatives from SES, Eutelsat and Intelsat discussed the advantages of satellite communications for global connectivity and where sharing spectrum can and can’t work.

GVF should be congratulated for taking this opportunity to provide an informative and thought-provoking seminar at such a major and potentially influential event. BBC was pleased to be able to speak and at the opportunity given to attend some of the main conference. Industry was well-represented at GSR-14, with the telecoms and mobile sector understandably influential given that previous GSRs have concentrated on ICTs, broadband and internet connectivity. Broadcasters, however, are conspicuous by their absence.
Thank you to Akira Ogawa, Anh Ngo and WBU-ISOG for allowing me to represent WBU-ISOG at the seminar.