Russian Satellite Communications Company ("RSCC") intends to become the first Russian satellite communications operator to trade transceiving capacities of its spacecraft on "The London Satellite Exchange" ("E-sax"). RSCC will sign an agreement with E-sax. Until recently E-sax has apprehended to work with Russian satellites. E-sax considered the satellites to be accident-sensitive. According to RSCC the agreement will be signed with E-sax in the course of annual Conference of Operators, which will be held in the town of Dubna, Moscow vicinity, 17-18 April. The financial aspect of the transaction has not been disclosed.
RSCC is the biggest national satellite operator. RSCC takes the 15th place among 47 operators world-wide with respect to provision of satellite communications services. RSCC domestic market share is 65%. Its constellation comprises 10 GEO satellites operating in the C-, Ku- and L- bands. RSCC is a shareholder of Eutelsat and Intelsat (it owns approximately 3% of shares in each company) and a major partner of International Organization of Space Communications "Intersputnik". The London Satellite Exchange is the largest online marketplace for the satellite telecommunications industry world-wide. E-sax provides purchase and sale of satellite channels. E-sax is in partnership with 80% of all satellite operators world-wide. The E-sax turnover exceeded $ 40 mln in 2001.
Although Eutelsat and Intelsat - international partners of RSCC, have worked with E-sax for more than one year and a half, the Russian operator itself had not been listed on the Exchange. However, according to Mrs. K. Drozdova, director of the marketing department, it's been the intention of the company to be listed on the Exchange for a long period of time. "In recent years, the state of our satellite constellation has been in extremely pitiful condition, it has aged before our very eyes. While western customers are primarily interested in multimedia services. We started to operate two "Express-A" satellites of the so-called fourth generation only in 2000. Even after that it took us two years to convince E-sax that our satellites operate efficiently".
Mrs. K. Drozdova emphasized that the agreement applies not only to two operating "Express-A" satellites but also to 7 future up-to-date communications and broadcasting "Express-A" and "Express-AM" satellites that will be launched by 2005.
Mr. NathanaС‘l Chabert, Director Space Department, confirmed that he will arrive in Russia on 17 April to sign a contract with Mr. Boris D. Antoniuk, Director General of RSCC. According to Mr. NathanaС‘l Chabert, "RSCC has unprecedented capabilities to cover North and East Europe, East and South-East Asia, therefore we have considered RSCC as a potential partner. Now RSCC has overcome some technical difficulties, and we are ready to work with Russia." He also added that RSCC satellites scheduled to be launched are of particular interest to E-sax. Prelaunched "Express-A1R" capacity lease conditions are offered on the Exchange. The "Express-A1R" satellite is scheduled to be launched in June 2002.
According to the research analysis of Northern Sky Research, demand for multimedia satellite services increases more than 40% annually. At the same time satellite operators satisfy only on average 60-65% of the demand. Analysts of Northern Sky believe that alone in Europe 2.6 mln private users will be utilizing the satellite services by 2006, and earnings of the operators will increase from today's $ 6 mln to almost $1 bln.
В© Yuri Granovskiy