About the event

All orbits came together at the Satellite Russia & CIS 2019


On April 10-11, 2019, a major satellite communications forum – the 11th International Conference “Satellite Russia & CIS: Digital Services on All Orbits” took place in Moscow.

The conference was endorsed by the Federal Agency of Communications (Rossvyaz), the State Corporation for Space Activities “Roscosmos”, European Satellite Operator's Association (ESOA), the GLONASS/GNSS-Forum Association, the Russian Association of Aviation and Space Insurers, the IT Directors’ CFO club, International Academy of Communications and the National Association of Financial Organizations.

The General Partner of Satellite Russia & CIS 2019 was Gazprom Space Systems (GSS). RSCC was Innovations Partner, SES Networks was Golden Partner, and Ingosstrakh, Hughes Network Systems, Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. and Thales Alenia Space were Bronze Sponsors. ISTAR was Session Sponsor. The conference was also supported by Iridium Communications, AMTEL-SVYAZ, Information Space Center “Northern Crown”, INTERSPUTNIK and AltegroSky Group.

The conference kicked off with a plenary session, dedicated to the present and the future of satellite telecommunications in Russia and abroad. The speakers included: Deputy Head of Rossvyaz Igor Chursin, Roscosmos’ First Deputy Director General for the Orbital Constellation and Perspective Projects Yuriy Urlichich, First Deputy Director General of Gazprom Space Systems Peter Korvyakov, RSCC’s Deputy Director General for Telecommunication Systems Evgeniy Buydinov, SES Networks’ Senior Fixed-Data Sales Manager, Russia & CIS Timur Sarsenov.

Yuriy Urlichich dropped a bombshell with the news about the new structure of the space ICT program ‘Sfera’. According to him, Roscosmos envisages it to include all ‘Express’ (operated by RSCC) and ‘Yamal’ (operated by Gazprom Space Systems) satellites, which will be commissioned beginning 2020, highly elliptical orbit constellation ‘Express-RV’ (RSCC) and earth remote sensing satellites ‘SMOTR’ (Gazprom Space Systems), GLONASS system, ‘Marathon’ satellite IoT/M2M system, satellite broadband system ‘Skif’ and existing space relay system ‘Luch’ and personal satellite communication system ‘Gonets’. Besides, it could also include low orbital constellation ‘Ether’ (if it is able to raise off-budget financing). Spacecraft assembly plant, currently built in Schelkovo by Gazprom Space Systems, is also very likely to be included into the ‘Sfera’ program, as a manufacturer of numerous high-potential satellites.

“’Sfera’ program will be export-oriented,” said Yuriy Urlichich. “The formula for success in the foreign markets is joining forces with the strongest player. We have come to an agreement to join forces with RSCC, which already sells its services in 55 countries of the world, and Gazprom Space Systems. But we are ready to work with anyone open to cooperation.”

Peter Korvyakov from Gazprom Space Systems said that the company has a long-term development program, which includes the launch of 8 ‘Yamal’ communication satellites from 2019 to 2035 (on May 2019, Gazprom Space Systems intends to launch the ‘Yamal-601’ satellite), and another 6 remote earth sensing satellites are scheduled for launch in 2022-2035.

When Evgeniy Buydinov from RSCC took the stage, he said: “A comprehensive orbital constellation (geostationary orbit and highly elliptical orbit) will ensure equal access to communication and broadcasting services across all regions of Russia, and will help to address national security and public administration goals. To implement large scale and technologically complex projects, the executive government bodies need to forge mutual cooperation with different enterprises. A federal target program is a tool, which could enable such cooperation. We deem it appropriate to include activities related to development and roll-out of satellite communication systems into the ‘Sfera’ federal target program.”

Timur Sarsenov spoke about his company’s international activities and its plans to launch a new medium-altitude satellite constellation O3b mPOWER. SES intends to put it into orbit in May 2022.

The next session, moderated by Deputy CEO of VISAT-TEL Valentin Anpilogov, was dedicated to the new opportunities, challenges and projects in satellite communications. Konstantin Lanin, Regional Director of Hughes Network Systems in Russia, spoke about the outlook for satellite communications on the example of Latin American markets. Gazprom Space Systems’ Head of Marketing Department Julia Babkina dedicated her report to new VSAT projects in 2019. Ashot Bakunts, Regional Director of Thales Alenia Space, offered the audience an overview of new space communication technologies. CEO of Istar Pavel Bakanov entitled his presentation “The Outlook for VSAT”. A report entitled “Application of ‘Albatros’ CAD system for analysis, calculation and modelling for different purpose satellite systems” was delivered by Director General of Information Space Center “Northern Crown” Andrey Gritsenko.  Iridium Communications’ Sales Director in Russia & CIS Dmitriy Tarasov spoke about the new generation of mobile satellite technology CERTUS Next!. Mikhail Pykhov, CTO of Gilat Satellite Networks, offered an overview of solutions for non-geostationary satellites. AltegroSky’s CTO Sergey Stepanenko chose to elaborate on infrastructure outsourcing in Russia.

After the break, the future of VSAT markets was brought up again at the panel discussion entitled: “VSAT market: Dynamics, technology capabilities, and co-existence with 5G networks”. Panelists included: Julia Babkina from Gazprom Space Systems, RSCC’s Director of Department of Operator and Corporate Solutions Mikhail Glinka, Sales Director in Russia & CIS of VT iDirect, Inc. Nikita Demidenko, Konstantin Lanin from Hughes Network Systems, head of AltegroSky Group Sergey Pekhterev, CEO of Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia) Denis Stafeev and Business Development Director of UHP Networks Oleg Timoshenko.

The first day of the forum ended with a discussion “Investing into space: ways to protect commercial interests of satellite service providers and promote private investment”, which was moderated by Natalia Ramazanova, Deputy Director General for Economy and Finance of Gazprom Space Systems. Panelists included: member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after K.E.Tsiolkovskiy Nikolay Bodin, INTERSPUTNIK’s Director of Regional Projects Department Vladimir Glebskiy, Managing Director of Key Accounts Department of VEB.RF Alexander Mikhailov, Advisor to Director General for Foreign Economic Activities of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center Andrey Pankratov, Advisor to Director General of RSCC Alexander Podchufarov; Ingosstrakh’s Head of Department of Space and Aviation Risks Insurance Vadim Semenkov, and Senior VP of Marsh Space Projects Igor Smirnov.

Natalia Ramazanova pointed out that satellite communications market is growing slowly and needs “to be given a push”. One of steps on that front was the Business Development Program, adopted by INTERSPUTNIK. According to Vladimir Glebskiy, the program, which kicked off on April 8, 2019, envisages soft financing for niche satellite projects up to USD 750,000, at the interest rate from 0 to 3%.

The second day of the forum was kicked off with the session dedicated to the new projects in the satellite communications market. Coordinator of the Project "Development of Partner Ties between Russia and UNIDO" Maxim Eliseev told the audience about tender opportunities offered by the UN organizations to Russian companies. Portfolio Manager of Skolkovo Space and Telecommunications Technologies Cluster Ivan Kosenkov spoke about the Skolkovo Foundation’s efforts in promoting private space programs in Russia. Vladislav Ivanenko, CEO of Satellite Innovative Space Technologies (SPUTNIX) entitled his report “Private space initiatives: Russian experience”. Vladimir Bodrov, Project Manager of Joint Small Spacecraft Laboratory of Novosibirsk State University and Fifth Generation DB, told the audience about a CubeSat-compatible platform for extremely small spacecrafts.

The conference ended with a session “Practical implementation of Earth remote sensing and geographic information systems in Russia”. The report “Practical experience with application of Earth remote sensing by Roscosmos State Corporation” was delivered by Roscosmos’ Deputy Director of the Department of Navigation Space Systems (GLONASS) Valeriy Zaichko.  Evgeniy Getz, Director General of the Center for Search Research spoke about the role of earth remote sensing services in the shaping SpaceNet market. CEO of Lotett Vladimir Gershenzon entitled his report “Localization vs Globalization”. Alexander Ruslanov, LANIT’s Chief Engineer, Department of Sector Infrastructure Automated Control Systems, looked into the role and place of geoinformation systems and 3D models in sector infrastructure management of the domestic economic complex.

Valeriy Zaichko announced that Roscosmos is about to complete the Integrated geographically distributed information system (ETRIS) for Earth remote sensing from space: the last (third) regional ETRIS center in the Arctic area will be launched in Anadyr by the end of 2019, the second center was put into operation in the end of 2018 in Dudinka, and the first one operates from Murmansk as a joint effort with Russian Emergency Ministry. Apart from the three regional ETRIS Earth remote sensing centers in the Arctic zone, there are four more regional centers, operated by Roscosmos and located in Kaliningrad, Samara, Zheleznogorsk and Vostochniy. Valeriy Zaichko also mentioned that Roscosmos is currently working on a national control center for Earth remote sensing from space, which will be responsible for the Russian orbital constellation of Earth remote sensing satellites and terrestrial infrastructure. The center will have a geographically distributed structure: the headquarters will be housed at the premises of the Research and Development Institute for Precision Instruments in Moscow, while its remote offices will be located in Deep-space communication center “OKB MEI” (‘Kalyazin’) and the Anino branch office of JSC Russian Space Systems (‘Anino’). The main data processing center will also be located in ‘Kalyazin’.

Participants of the 11th International Conference “Satellite Russia & CIS: Digital Services on All Orbits” praised the high level of event organization, compelling agenda and excellent networking opportunities.

The next, 12th conference Satellite Russia & CIS will be held in April 2020.