Aimed at building on the outcomes of the 2015 ITU Satellite Symposium, the 2016 ITU International Satellite Symposium in Bali cemented commitments among participants to strengthen cooperation and build partnerships between policy-makers and regulators in the Asia-Pacific region and the global satellite manufacturing and services industry.
Taking place on Sept 7-8, the Symposium was preceded by a one-day workshop on 6 September, which focused on the implementation of WRC-15 decisions, the impact of new technologies, future trends in satellite communications, and the latest developments in non-GSO constellations and their evolution. It also explored WRC-15 decisions aimed at maintaining a stable, predictable and universally applicable regulatory environment that ensures long-term investments in the multi-trillion dollar ICT industry and provide new opportunities for the future of the telecommunication sector.
"The dialogue was an important step forward," said Houlin Zhao, ITU's Secretary-General. "The spectrum/orbit resource remains a crucial asset for satellite operators and administrations."
The Symposium and Workshop addressed the challenges of gaining access to this asset, which are particularly intense for newcomers to the business, for smaller companies operating existing satellite services, for new national/regional systems and for anyone seeking to introduce new types of satellite applications, broadband and mobile applications, in particular. It also has an impact on scientific applications related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, and disaster prediction, mitigation and relief.
Participants included senior government officials and leaders in academia and national satellite service providers in the Asia-Pacific region as well as international satellite operators.
"The Symposium and Workshop provided a unique opportunity to meet and exchange views with the world´s leading experts from administrations, satellite operators and industry," said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. "They shared the latest information on their plans for the efficient and effective development of satellite networks."
Hot topics included potential proposals for enhancing access to the spectrum/orbit resource, including protection/extension of existing satellite frequency allocations and rights and obligations regarding application of the international regulatory framework.
Hosted by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia (MCIT), with the support of Asosiasi Satelit Indonesia (ASSI), the symposium and workshop was attended by 133 participants from 25 countries.
"The Government of Indonesia is now developing fibre-optic submarine and terrestrial cables as broadband infrastructure, and that's the so-called PALAPA RING which is happening under a Private Public Partnership scheme," said Ms. Farida Dwi Cahyarini, Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia (MCIT). "It is a nationwide network that will be the backbone of Indonesia's information and communication technology system connecting seven main islands, 33 provinces, and 460 districts with amount of 13,000km of fiber optic cables. The PALAPA RING and Satellite Network will simultaneously cover broadband telecommunications services all around Indonesia. Indonesia is a large archipelago country. Many locations in Indonesia have no, or inadequate, access to any means of terrestrial telecommunication infrastructure. Indonesia's experiences with satellite started in 1976, when we launched our first satellite, PALAPA A-1, that covered more than seventeen thousand islands throughout Indonesia. Indonesia has a topography of many volcanoes and is surrounded by sea, with strong potential for tsunamis when earthquakes occur. It's known as the Ring of Fire. As we are fully aware that we live in the disaster-prone country, we rely on satellite communication when disasters occur. Satellite communication functioned best after the Aceh tsunami and Nias earthquake, while most fixed and cellular networks were damaged. Furthermore, satellite is very important for Indonesia, especially for building broadband infrastructure in under-served and un-served areas."
The Symposium and Workshop was supported by many partners and sponsors, including Telkom Indonesia, Measat, SMA, SES, O3B, Apstar, Kacific, Intelsat, Eutelsat, Jsat, Metrasat, Selindo Alpha and SSL. They also showcased some of their latest innovative products and services in the satellite industry during the Symposium.