On 15 May 2019, following an invitation from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, official representatives of Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Poland, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Czech Republic met in Bonn for the joint 47th session the Board and 22nd session of the Operations Committee of the Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications.
The delegates were welcomed by Mr. Dietmar Plesse, Senior Executive Officer, Directorate-General for Innovation, IT and Communications Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Plesse was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board for the next year. When addressing the delegates, Mr. Plesse recalled that the FRG, as a successor to the GDR, was a cofounder of Intersputnik. Also, he pointed out that the current joint session of the Board and the Operations Committee was already a second Intersputnik event on such a high level held in Germany. For the first time, a session of the Board had taken place in Munich in 1996. At that time the Members of the Organization had approved the Protocol on Amendments to the Intersputnik Establishment Agreement, which triggered a radical organizational and legal reform of Intersputnik.
During the opening ceremony of the joint session there was signed an agreement on cooperation between Intersputnik and the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization EUTELSAT, which contributed much to stepping up Intersputnik’s international activity. EUTELSAT Executive Secretary Mr. Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski attended the joint session as an observer. Agreements on cooperation had been earlier concluded with the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) and the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO).
Within the framework of the approved agenda, the Board and the Operations Committee reviewed a wide range of issues related to current operations and development prospects of the organization. The delegates to the session approved the results of Intersputnik’s operation, financial indicators for 2018, and a report on the examination of the organization’s financial and economic performance during the previous year.
Much attention was paid to the development of Intersputnik’s international satellite telecommunications system with a focus on the procurement of the organization’s own satellite resource based on new satellites and the maximum possible use of Intersputnik’s orbit and spectrum resource. The delegates approved a report on progress in the implementation of joint satellite projects and prospects of potential cooperation with new partners in using new satellite networks.
During the joint session, the Board and the Operations Committee discussed the interim results of Intersputnik’s first ever tender under a program for the development of industry-specific business in the member countries of the organization aimed at supporting innovative projects in the field of satellite telecommunications. For this purpose there had been set up an investment fund totaling USD 4,500,000, which can be apportioned among the winners of the tender. Bids started to be invited in the first fortnight of April 2019. The results of the tender will be summed up in the second half of this year.
The Office of Electronic Communications of the Republic of Poland invited Intersputnik to hold the next joint session of the Board and Operations Committee in Warsaw in mid-2020.
On 14 May 2019, on the eve of the joint session, Intersputnik held a traditional seminar dedicated to the development of domestic satellite telecommunications systems and advanced telecommunications technologies. This event, called NATSATTEL-2019, was attended by officials of government regulatory bodies and representatives of satellite telecommunications operators from the Intersputnik member countries, specialists from major research and development centers and other industryspecific companies. The participants discussed transformations in the satellite telecommunications market and prospects of its growth, exchanged information on projects underway in the member countries of Intersputnik, reviewed topical aspects of the preparation for the World Radio Conference 2019, including future 5G networks