The Secretariat of Southern African Development Community (SADC) convened a workshop on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulation (RR) and Rules and Procedure (RoP) on Satellite Networks from the 22nd to 26th January 2018 in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. The event was hosted by the Regulator Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS).
In his remarks, to the workshop, Mr. Linden Petzer a representative from DTPS, South Africa, the Host and Chair of SADC, stated that Member States had identified that capacity building on ITU satellite regulatory and procedural matters was among the highest priority to enable effective participation at the World Radio Communications Conference (WRC) on satellite matters. He added that it is vital to train Member States with hands-on exercises on the ITU satellite communication tools and the BR International Frequency Information Circular (IFIC).
Councilor Peter Zimri from ICASA in his opening remarks said capacity building was necessary to ensure that the interests of the region are protected for future use of satellite technologies and South Africa was launching its own satellites.
Mrs. Cecilia Mamelodi-Onyadie, the Senior Programme Officer for Communications and ICT, representing the SADC Secretariat said that the workshop was part of the SADC Secretariat’s ongoing effort to increase the pool of Experts on various priority ICT thematic areas. SADC is the first Regional Economic Community (REC) to convene such a capacity building workshop in collaboration with ITU.
The ITU Radio Communication Bureau assigned 2 Satellite Experts to facilitate the workshop. The event was attended by 40 participants coming from 8 SADC Member States, and they all received the latest ITU BR space communication software which was installed on their laptops.
The workshop covered the international legal regulatory framework on small satellites and also looked at the latest emerging innovative satellite technologies and High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) for the provision of universal broadband access.
Participants were introduced to the unplanned and planned frequency satellite bands and ITU Coordination and Notification procedures (from satellite design concept to bringing into use) on how to develop a satellite system in both schemes. They undertook exercises in all the ITU BR Space Software namely: SpaceQry, SpaceCap, SpaceCom, SpaceVal, SpacePub, GIMS, GIBC. They also had the opportunity to go through ITU Space Services Website, BR-International Frequency Information Circular (IFIC) and some of the online ITU space services.
Participants were also able to evaluate their satellite slot assignments for Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) and Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) in the planned bands and how to protect these assignments by processing and generating appropriate comments for the BR when your satellite assignment is being degraded due to modifications pursued by other Administrations.
Furthermore, participants learnt how to coordinate Earth Stations by generating coordination contours diagrams and analyzing the results for coordination, and had the opportunity to visit the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) premises, which included their Earth Observation Programme and Space Operations Programme. The former deals with Geospatial informatics and Square Kilometer Array (SKA) while the latter is the SA satellite mission control, providing Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C) and Space Applications, including satellite laser ranging to global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo, providing valuable information on the accuracy and quality of their orbits.