The Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications has supported the initiative of the Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in arranging the workshop "ITU in Service of Space." The event was held in a hybrid format on 28 June 2023 in Geneva.
In preparation for the workshop, Intersputnik covered the cost of simultaneous interpretation into all six UN official languages during the event. According to Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, this allowed more professionals – the workshop participants – to be involved in the discussions. In addition, Intersputnik Executive Director Elina Morozova moderated one of the workshop sessions attended by national regulators – the telecommunications administrations of ITU member states.
The objective of the representative international event, attended by around 450 participants, was to identify the needs of the satellite industry in developing ITU rules and procedures to govern the use of orbital frequency resources in a way that ensures the development and implementation of new satellite technologies and guarantees equitable access and rational use of geostationary and non-geostationary orbital resources. The workshop provided an opportunity to share national best practices in regulating the use of frequency spectrum and satellite orbits, and to identify the needs of administrations in developing recommendations for licensing global satellite systems at the national level. In addition, the current difficulties in processing frequency assignment filings for multi-satellite systems were discussed with a view to finding ways to improve the Radiocommunication Bureau's procedures.
According to the organisers and participants, the new regulation should be a guarantee for the rational use of geostationary and non-geostationary orbits, orbital positions and frequencies. A transparent and clear regulatory framework is needed for the effective deployment of new satellite technologies and the protection of satellite market players' investments.
Because of the rapid development of non-geostationary multi-satellite systems, the administrations of some countries were unwilling to license their activities in the absence of ITU recommendations. Therefore, ITU-R needs to develop recommendations for national regulators to help them establish a competent and balanced approach to the admission of multi-satellite systems to their market.
The workshop will prepare proposals and recommendations for ITU-R Study Group 4 for the period 2023-2027. Their goal is to search for possible options to improve the international regulatory arrangement for the orbital-frequency resource.
With the regulatory framework lagging far behind the development of satellite technologies, work within the ITU-R to improve international regulation of radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits is critical to further advancing ICT, bridging the digital divide, maintaining sustainable space, and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As an international space communications organization, Intersputnik considers one of its most important missions - to participate in all international initiatives aimed at the efficient and equitable use of space and the available spectrum to create a congenial environment for the promotion and use of technologies and services that improve the quality of life and safety of humankind.
Cooperation between Intersputnik and ITU
Intersputnik is a member of two sectors of the International Telecommunication Union – the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) and the Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) – proudly holding the ITU Gold Sector Member status. Cooperation between Intersputnik and ITU is also governed by an agreement between the Director General of Intersputnik and the Secretary-General of ITU, signed in 1983.
Within the ITU-R, Intersputnik, as an intergovernmental organization, works continuously on behalf of its Members and Signatories to file with ITU the frequency assignments and to subsequently coordinate and notify international frequency assignments to the Organization's satellite networks. These assignments are subsequently used in joint satellite projects in various regions of the world.