Affiliations: Institute for Applied Space Research, The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20052, USA E‐mail: [email protected] | National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA E‐mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The field of satellite communications is becoming at least as constrained and shaped by policy, regulatory and standards issues as it is by technology. Satellite communications is currently facing a host of challenging issues, including national economic competition, open trade issues, standards and protocols, spectrum and frequency allocation, definition of essential space services requiring public funding, institutional reform, international industrial patterns of change and consolidation, technology transfer, and the proper role of government in future space communications development. This article seeks to identify possible areas for reform with regard to ‘paper satellites’, multi‐purpose frequency allocations, longer range spectrum planning, new standards‐making approaches to seamless satellite‐fiber interconnectivity, and reforms to more open international trade and licensing of satellite systems. Specific issues addressed include: Global trade and access to national markets in the new ‘open markets’ trading environment. Interoperability standards and protocols. Issues of compatibility among the satellite systems of the world. Access to needed frequency allocations for satellite services amid growing global demand for broad band multi‐media services and the need to revise ITU planning processes. The difference in policy perspective and objectives between developed and developing countries in the field of satellite communications and its applications. The on‐going problem of ‘paper satellites’ and the fact that ‘due diligence’ has not solved this problem. Needed regulatory reforms to encourage new types of interactive broadband, multi‐media satellites. Institutional reforms of key entities (the ITU, INTELSAT, Inmarsat, etc.) in the coming decade. Technology transfer issues, especially those that involve sensitive or strategic issues as well as streamlined methods to protect international property rights. New patterns of industrial cooperation, merger and as the new global market emerges. The proper role of governmental R&D support in developing new technology, applications and markets.
Keywords: ITU, INTELSAT, Inmarsat, World Trade Organization (WTO), ETSI, TIA, SIA, IEEE, ATM Forum, ITU‐R and ITU‐T, WIPO, Satellite Standards and Protocols, Open Systems Interconnection, IMT 2000, FPLMTS, Technology Transfer, International Cooperation, Frequency Allocation, Paper Satellites, Intellectual Property Rights