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Bangladesh CabSat services disrupted

by david.nunes


Satellite, broadcasting and cable TV providers
meet with government to propose solution

Dhaka, May 24, 2012 – Bangladesh’s broadcasting and cable and satellite TV operators, in co-ordination with the international satellite communications industry, have called for the Government of Bangladesh to take rapid action to halt the disruption of TV services suffered by millions of Bangladeshis.

The industry bodies said the technical interference is being caused by wireless broadband operators using newly introduced “WiMAX” technology.

The Bangladeshi and international industry organizations — the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB), the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), and the regionally-based Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) — met last week in Dhaka. The organizations are in co-ordination with the World Broadcasting Unions – International Satellite Operations Group (WBU-ISOG).

The industry groups said they are deeply concerned that wireless bandwidth used to distribute television services across the country and the rest of the region in the 3.5 GHz range — and now shared in Bangladesh with recently launched WiMAX operators — could close down hundreds of TV channels across the country.

“For instance, the largely unanticipated implications of the introduction of WiMAX services at 3.5 GHz is causing widespread transmission failures throughout the country and can be especially serious for news broadcasters which use the lower end of the Standard C-band spectrum” said Gregg Daffner, Chairman of CASBAA’s Wireless Action Group.

“However, there is a solution to this very serious problem,” said David Hartshorn, Secretary General of GVF. “The interfering WiMAX services can use other, less crowded frequencies.”

In other markets, WiMAX operators have successfully migrated from the 3.5GHz band, “so we know we can resolve the crisis in Bangladesh,” said Hartshorn.

The meeting was hosted in Dhaka by APT Satellite, a Hong Kong-based satellite operator, which has conducted extensive field tests to confirm that the source of the interference is from WiMAX operators. APT now provides satellite capacity to most of the TV channels in Bangladesh.

“APT Satellite Company is committed to helping our customers and the Bangladesh government to resolve this issue, so that interference-free broadcast and cable services can be restored,” said Huang Baozhong, Vice President of APT Satellite.

The meeting was endorsed by CASBAA and the GVF who exchanged views and information with Bangladeshi industry and government officials, including representatives of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

According to a joint GVF-CASBAA paper released during the meeting, the WiMAX interference problem has been experienced in numerous countries throughout the world, where the most effective solution applied by national administrations has been to remove WiMAX services from C-band altogether. Click here to read the full GVF-CASBAA position paper, as endorsed by the World Broadcasting Unions – International Satellite Operations Group: “Eliminating WiMAX Interference.”

ABOUT CASBAA – www.casbaa.com

Established in 1991, CASBAA is the Association for digital multichannel TV, content, platforms, advertising and video delivery across Asia for the past two decades. Spanning 18 geographic markets, CASBAA and its Members reach over 420 million connections through a footprint ranging from China to Australasia, Japan to Pakistan. The CASBAA mission is to promote the growth of multichannel TV and video content through industry information, networking exchanges and events while promoting global best practices. To view the full list of CASBAA members please visit here.

ABOUT GVF – www.GVF.org

Headquartered in London and with a regional office in Washington, D.C., GVF is a non-profit satellite communications trade association that comprises more than 200 companies from every major region of the world and from all sectors of the industry. The organisation’s mission is to facilitate improved access to satellite communications through effective regulatory, policy and spectrum-management approaches. The organisation also provides training, capacity building, type approvals, network validation, disaster preparedness, and other services for the international satellite communications community.

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