Post by Andrey Gidaspov

“This is Ground Control to Key… Bow-Wow”: Updates on the Russian Satellite Industry

Sometime in the 1950s, the renowned Italian monkey trainer Capellini showed his impressive skill at the popular Soviet Circus on Tsvetnoi Boulevard in Moscow. One day he was approached by some stern-hunting males in grey suits. They pulled him aside and bombarded him with awkward queries, like — how much time do you usually invest teaching a monkey to wear shiny shoes? Or how nicely can they take care of injections? Can they carry human illnesses? What takes place when a monkey is by yourself for prolonged intervals of time?

Soon right after that meeting with Capellini, some exciting activities started to arise in the Russian capital. Black autos with tinted windows would avoid in the middle of the day or night time in Moscow neighborhoods and teams of athletic guys would arrive out to hunt stray dogs. The odd thing was that these guys would catch only dogs that weighed significantly less than 6 kg and had been no taller than 35 cm. The barking fellows were put in mini-vans and driven to the “Dynamo” soccer stadium.

What related these two occasions? You’ve most likely guessed by now. Soviet space experts and bio-health-related experts (in the Institute positioned close to “Dynamo”) have been deciding on the greatest crew for the first room odyssey. Apparently, monkeys had been as well delicate and unprepared for long flights in inconvenient situations, while stray dogs grilled by every day Moscow street daily life were just excellent for the harsh realities of the vacuum, sound and other unexpected disturbances of room travel. Paving the way for long run cosmonauts, from 1951 to 1961 some 29 area shuttles filled with men’s finest buddies flew towards their individual “Space Oddity.” Last but not least, on April twelve, 1961, Yury Gagarin grew to become the 1st guy to problem room, opening the doorways for the Soviet/Russian satellite business.

Tiny did he know that in just forty years the Russian Space Agency would serve as a futuristic journey company sending rich tourists into the 1st astral travels. Do not you see it as science fiction coming accurate? When ecstatic Richard Branson comes out with his space odyssey ideas, Stephen Hawking assessments anti-gravity, Roman Abramovich is packing his things to meditate on the Moonlake and almost certainly making strategies for a new Chelsea soccer area at the Lunar crater Daedalus, there is a sense of new actuality all around us. The long term is previously mentioned us, gleaming through the shuttle window.

However, let’s leave space journey for some time and have a appear at Mother Earth. In Russia there is still a fantastic want for satellite communications pinging from some 25,000 spots that do not have telecom connections. The Russian satellite marketplace has grow to be essential for a nation of that sheerness. Connection to some remote places in Siberia, the Far East and North is only possible by satellite.

In 2007 the crucial issue in the development of the satellite marketplace has grow to be the National Educational Challenge that stipulates set up of about twelve,000 VSAT-terminals to connect Russian universities to the Internet. More than 12,000 terminals are also essential to provide universal services in Russian remote areas.

In accordance to the Russian Area Communication Firm (RSCC), the satellite market place is growing additional due to huge national tasks, an boost in Tv and radio-broadcasting networks, especially in the areas, as effectively as a gradual decline in products costs. The only deficit in the market place is the lack of orbit-frequency spectrum. Two major Russian satellite operators, RSCC and GazCom are set to kick off new satellites in 2007-2010. Thus, to cover Central and Western regions RSCC will kick off its Express-AM33 and Express-AM44 and Express-MD1 satellites in September and December 2007. Moreover, incorporating satellite potential for Eastern and Central Russia, RSCC will start «Express-AM4» and «Express-МD2» in 2008. On leading of that, to especially cover radio broadcasting requirements, RSCC options to deliver three much more satellites into orbit.

With 80% of the Russian satellite industry share, RSCC affirms that Television represents a speedily growing section of the satellite service marketplace: final yr its share achieved 35% between all RSCC companies. Hence, RSCC satellites present providers to about 115 Russian and foreign Tv and radio channels. Corporate clientele and operators contribute some 30%, whilst the Net accounts for twenty%.

At the identical time, foreign clientele signify 48% of all RSCC services volume, while the saturation of transponder ability only grows (in 2005-2006 it arrived at about 90%). Improvement of regional Tv continues to be amongst the segments with the best prospective customers in the Russian satellite industry. According to analysts, in 2006 some 15 regional satellite networks had been put in. The trick is that satellite broadcasting is usually the only offered means to provide quality regional packages to digital broadcast networks. Sixty regional satellite Tv channels are broadcast in 49 Russian regions nowadays, reports RSCC. RSCC is all set to invest some USD two billion in the up coming eight many years.

RSCC’s major rival, GazCom, also options to invest about USD 2 billion to build its satellite fleet by 2015. As Vedomosti noted, GazCom is set to kick off two far more satellites “Yamal-300” in 2008, plus six a lot more later. All in all, by 2015 GazCom will launch 15 satellites. Even though in 2000 GazCom broadcast only 5 channels, nowadays it carries 80. In parallel, the demand for GazCom’s satellite capability grows at fifteen-twenty% annually.

Russian VSAT Marketplace Trends

Analysts estimate that the VSAT market place in Russia will develop fifty% to 70% in 2007, and the amount of installed VSAT terminals need to reach twenty,000. Numerous present Russian satellite operators have more than 1,000 terminals within a single’s operator network. There is expanding opposition amid equipment suppliers, wherever main industry gamers, like ViaSat, HNS, and Gilat Network Systems are currently being threatened by new players, which includes iDirect Technologies, ND SatCom, Shiron Satellite Communications and EMS Technologies.

Among the core buyers are corporate businesses and operators, power and oil businesses, and retail chains. Nevertheless their amount is somewhat limited, whilst operators try out to cater to their desires with at any time reduced pricing. As a result, the levels of competition amongst satellite operators continues to increase. One significant problem that adds to the opposition is a lack of orbit frequency spectrum. Operators are awaiting availability of the Ku-spectrum that really should be available in 2008 in equally RSCC and GazCom.

The main regions wherever VSAT organization is focusing on are the Urals, the Far East, Chukotka and Kamchatka. These remote areas with harsh terrain are in dire need of contemporary communication, and VSAT gives the perfect match for them. At the same time there is a trend towards additionally specialization of satellite operators: some perform in a reduce cost niche, and others operate mostly with corporate customers building VPNs and carrier networks. Nevertheless, a lot of operators are cultivating ties with the same corporate customers, cutting tariff rates.

Consolidation between operators is not however significant, as the marketplace is huge enough for operators to co-exist. One particular interesting trend has been that big program integration firms are acquiring nearby satellite operators, investing into infrastructure and moving towards the VSAT enterprise niche.

While the government can make steps to simplify VSAT registration procedures, operators indicate that this procedure has not been perfected however. For illustration, there are contradicting rules in between two federal government agencies, the Russian Ministry of Communication and the Russian Customer Management Company, on obtaining sanitary and epidemiology certificates. Also, VSAT operators identified these methods among the most expensive and labor intensive. An additional difficulty is import of radio digital equipment to Russia. There is a checklist of equipment advised by the State Committee on Radio Frequencies (SCRF). Nevertheless the Customs Committee does not take SCRF recommendation as a regulation, and requests permits for these imports.

(You can locate contacts for significant Russian satellite operators and integrators at: http://www.gidabyte/catalogue/sat_rus/

About the Author

Andrey Gidaspov lives and works in Hong Kong and has more than 10 decades of expertise in enterprise consulting in the IT and telecom (ICT) fields. From 1995 to 2004, Andrey worked as an IT and telecom sectors advisor to the U.S. Division of Commerce in Central Asia and Russia. In September 2004 Andrey moved to Hong Kong with his family members and opened his telecom consulting company – GidaByte (