SATRUS’2011 – the 16th Annual Conference of Operators and Users of Russian Satellite Telecommunications Networks was held on September 21-22, 2011

The conference was organized by the Russian Space Communications Company (RSCC) in partnership with ComNews Conferences. SATRUS’2011 is the top Russian forum on satellite communications and digital broadcasting. This forum is supported by major companies as well as by the industry regulator. The visitors to the conference and the accompanying exhibition included more than 350 representatives of 105 entities from Russia, UK, Kazakhstan, Canada, Germany, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, UAE, Belgium, Switzerland, USA, and Luxemburg.

SATRUS’2011 was co-sponsored by the Federal Agency of Communications, the Federal Space Agency, the Russian Telecommunications Supervisory Committee, the National Satellite Communications Assembly, the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF).

The forum participants and/or the exhibitors included domestic and foreign satellite operators or service providers, operators of broadcast networks or digital TV buses, TV/radio companies, manufacturers of space-, satellite- and/or communication-oriented equipment, system integrators, banks, investment companies, insurers, as well as advisers and experts from the industry, media, major corporate or governmental consumers of satellite services.

The list of the forum’s partners or exhibitors includes the Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev Company, Thales Alenia Space, EADS Astrium, Eutelsat Сommunications, Intersputnik, SatComService, EASTAR, Ingosstrakh, ViaSat, Hughes Network Systems, iDirect, Gilat, the  STM Group, RuSat, TriColor TV, the Anritsu Corporation and VisCom.  The conference was attended by Amos SpaceCom, SES World Skies and Orion Express.

Vladimir Shelikhov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency of Communications, opened the plenary session with a welcoming address.  Claude Rousseau, Senior Analyst, NSR – Northern Sky Research spoke on the development of satellite communication services in Russia, Europe and the world as a whole.  Vladimir Lifshits, Head of Information and Analysis Center and Advisor to NAT President appreciated the contribution by broadcasters and their partners to the digital TV development in the Russian Federation.

In his address Yury Prokhorov, General Director, RSCC, pointed out that “Space communications play the key role in the implementation of infrastructure-oriented and/or social projects in Russia.  Among these projects, I would place special emphasis on the development of digital TV and mass broadband satellite services”. He told about the future growth of the RSCC satellite constellation through 2015.  The cost of the RSCC investment program for this period will be more than EU1bn. The company is planning to build and launch nine state-of-the-art communication satellites.  Six of these (Express-AM5, -AM6, -MD2, -AT1 and –AM8) are already on the production line and RSCC is planning to conclude contracts for the remaining three (Express-AM7, -AM9 and -AM4R) in the nearest future.

The first Conference session was opened by Vladimir Zarubin, Director, Space Programs and Projects, RSCC with a presentation on the status of the Russian satellite constellation and the plans to build and launch new spacecraft.  Valery Butenko, General Director, the Radio R&D Institute, took up the session topic by presenting the development trends in the Russian National Satellite Communication and Broadcasting System.  The potential and the prospects of the Yamal Satellite Communication System were covered by Dmitri Sevastyanov, General Director, Gazprom Space Systems.  Cooperation with Russia in the space area was the subject of the presentations made by Ashot Bakunts, Russia and CIS Regional Director, Thales Alenia Space, and Vladimir Terekhov, Regional Director, Russia and CIS, EADS Astrium. The session was completed by Evgeny Buydinov, Deputy General Director, RSCC, whose talk was devoted to the major innovative directions of the company’s growth.

The subject of the second SATRUS’2011 session was digital satellite TV/radio casting. The audience listened to the presentations by Vladimir Livshits on the digital broadcasting standards and regional TV in Russia and by Evgeniy Solomatin, Development Director, Cominfo Consulting, whose presentation was titled ‘Digital Satellite TV in Russia and the Rest of the World. Prospects of TV Growth in Russia: Trends and Solutions’.  The strategies of the three leaders of the paid TV market in Russia were described by speakers from NTV+, Orion Express and Tricolor TV.  Alexander Yakovlev, Head of Communication System Operations, RSCC, and Boris Lokshin, Head of Future System Projects Department, Space Programs and Projects, RSCC, considered the potential use by TV casters of the RSCC satellite segment and ground infrastructure.

The third forum session was opened by the presentation on the promotion of the Ka-band use for broadband satellite access in Europe made by Laurent Vandebrouck, Commercial Director, SkyLogic.  Alexander Komaritsky, General Director, EASTAR, described the advantages of the domestic ES wideband satellite access bus. Andrey Kirillovich, Sales Director, Russia/CIS, iDirect Inc., made a presentation titled ‘Ka-Band Networks: New Horizons for VSAT Operators’.  This subject was taken up by Konstantin Lanin, Head of Moscow Office, Regional Sales Director, Russia & CIS, Hughes Network Systems LLC, in his presentation ‘Ka-Band: Quo Vadis?’. Ladislav Cisar, Regional Technical Director, ViaSat, presented the report ‘The User, the Company and Ka-Band Mobile Communications’.  Sergey Alymov, General Director, RuSat, discussed the problem of incorporating the Russian segment of Ku-band wideband mobile communication network in the Global Network.  Building new scalable and efficient Ka-band networks was discussed by Umar Javed, Executive Vice President, STM.  The modern trends in, and prospects of, the satellite communication networks development were covered in his talk by Sergey Bityukov, Head of Business Development, Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia).  Leonid Rogozin, Director General, National Assembly of Satellite Communications (NASC), wrapped up the session by a discussion of the pressing problems of VMES usage legalization in Russia and various approaches to the solutions of these problems.

The second Conference day was opened with a session devoted to financing and investments.  The session was moderated by Denis Pivnyuk, Deputy General Director, Economy and Finances, RSCC.  The session was further addressed by Denis Nikolaev, Deputy Head of Finance and Economy Administration, the ISS Reshetnev Company, who discussed the issue of offering, under competitive conditions,  long-term financing to buyers (customers) of Reshetnev high-tech products; by Sergey Karmalito, Deputy Head of Project-oriented and Export Financing, HSBC, with a presentation on arranging financial support guaranteed by export credit agencies within the Russian context; by Natalya Ramazanova, Deputy General Director, Economy and Finances, Gazprom Space Systems, with a presentation on investment projects aimed at building satellite assets; by Roman Goltsov, Executive Director, Directorate Manager, Department of Projects-related and Structural Financing, Directorate of Projects-related and Export Financing, GAZPROMBANK, who discussed the specifics of financing satellite communication operators’ investment programs; by Nikolay Ivanov, Advisor to General Director, RSCC, who delivered a presentation on the principles of, and configuring, the company’s risk management; by Nikolay Galushin, Deputy General Director, Ingosstrakh, with a report on insuring space risks; and by Lyudmila Naumova, Senior Regional Director, Europe, Russia and CIS, SES World Skies, with a presentation on the role of innovative commercial or financial models in user/satellite communication provider relationship.

The fifth SATRUS’2011 session was opened by Kseniya Drozdova, Deputy General Director on Buisness Growth, RSCC, by a discussion of international projects using the capabilities of the Russian National Satellite Constellations with the involvement of companies such as Eutelsat, Intersputnik, Romantis and AMOS.  Nikolay Orlov, CIS Regional Director, Eutelsat Communications, told about new opportunities in Russia and CIS for TV/audio casting and data transmission services.  Timofey Abramov, Sales Manager, Intersputnik, reported on the results and the future potential of cooperation with international satellite communication providers and evaluated the role and the position of these providers in the Russian market.  Andrey Shestakov, General Director, Energia-Telecom, made the presentation ‘Angosat, the Angolan National Satellite Communication and Broadcasting Project’.  Alexander Vyshlov from Spacecom Russian Office presented the report titled ‘From Cooperation of Manufacturers to Cooperation of Operators’. Strategies enabling Russian hardware manufacturers to enter world markets were considered by Oleg Timoshenko, Chairman of Board of Directors, EASTAR.

The final session moderated by Alexander Ganin, First Deputy General Director, RSCC, was devoted to large-scale space communication systems, global positioning systems and space segment-based services.  Presentations were made by Andrey Sokolov, Head of Department, Morsvyazsputnik; Gavyllatyl Murzakulov, President, Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary National Company; Vladimir Krymov, Executive Director, GLONASS/GNSS-Forum Association; Lyudmila Yurasova, Deputy General Director, Navigation Information Systems; and Sergey Shuvalov, Head of Promising Studies and Industry Branch Solutions Department, M2M Telematics.

In addition to the extensive program, the conference participants were provided with a chance to communicate, to make new contacts, and to discuss business in an informal environment.  Based on the opinion poll, the attendees appraised highly both the conference program and the conference organization level.