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Satellite Communications in Mongolia

By Dr.Amgalanbat Batsuren, Director General, Policy and Planning Department Information, Communications Technology and Post Authority (ICTPA)

Policy and Regulation

The Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) has been established under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Mongolia in 2004. Its main purpose is to coordinate and facilitate the ICT development in Mongolia. Since its establishment, the ICT Authority has worked intensively and dynamically to develop favorable and beneficial policies and regulatory frameworks for the development of the ICT sector in Mongolia; to coordinate its works, initiatives and plans with donor and international organizations; to synchronize its intentions and ideas with the interests of private sector companies; and to cooperate with the non-governmental organizations to ensure broader public outreach. Under the Government Resolution no. 64 of December 24, 2008 and Ordinance no. 5 of January 19, 2009 by the Prime Minister, The Information and Communications Technology Authority was restructured into the Information, Communications, Technology and Post Authority (ICTPA).

Since 2004, the ICTPA has formulated the Draft Law on Information Security, Package Draft Law on Information & Communications and Draft Law on Amendments to other related laws, brought them up for the public discussions & submitted them to the Great National Assembly and the Government.

The Communications Regulatory Commission is an independent Mongolian Government regulatory agency. The Commission was established by the Communications Act of 2001, and is charged with regulating and supervising a wide range of subjects including competition issues, the provision of networks and services for fixed line and wireless telecommunications, television, radio, and satellite transmission, spectrum management, postal services and the internet to ensure that the public interest is well served. The CRC's jurisdiction covers each region of Mongolia.

Telecom services over Satellite Communications

An Intelsat A standard satellite earth station was installed in Ulaanbaatar to establish international telecom services between Ulaanbaatar and Hong Kong as an international gateway and transmit national television programs throughout Mongolia in 1991. The earth station was named "NARAN". National TV programs were broadcast through the Asiasat satellite during the period 1991-1997. The transmission of national TV program was shifted from the Asiasat system to the Intelsat satellite due to the Mongolia Telecom company signing an Operating Agreement with Intelsat; becoming its 142nd Signatory in 1998.

The broadcast of four television programs was commenced on Intelsat 704 at 66E on frequency band C from the year 2005. This was the first time digital technology had been used on the DVB-S standard for satellite television broadcasting in Mongolia.

With regard to government policy, there are plans to broadcast 10 television programs via the Apstar 6 satellite on the Ku frequency band this year.

Mongolia Telecom initially introduced the VSAT satellite communications system in 4 administrative divisions and sub divisions by 1998. Now many companies have established VSAT networks and provide telecom services throughout Mongolia. In addition, the VSAT system is frequently used for the backhaul network between BSC and cellular network base stations.

The Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology prepares engineers and professionals in the field of satellite communications.

The strategic goal of the Government of Mongolia is to launch a compact and multi-purpose space communication satellite and create an Internet transmission back-up exit in the geo-constant location allocated to Mongolia by the ITU by 2015.

Remote Sensing Development

During the past years GIS and RS techniques have been widely and continuously used in studies of natural resources, land cover change, land use, research on water and forest resources enabling the monitoring of vast territory of Mongolia in short time at wider scope and higher spatial resolution.

Both the "NUM-ITC-UNESCO" lab and a lab at the School of Geography and Geology of the National University of Mongolia have been working towards preparation of specialists in use of the advanced techniques.

The 3rd International and National workshop on "Applications of Geo-informatics for Mongolian Natural Resource and Environment" workshop organized by the National University of Mongolia and the Mongolian Geosciences & Remote Sensing Society was held between 29 - 30 June, 2009 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The aim of the workshop is to gather together scientists and users interested in applying remote sensing and GIS for Natural Resource and Environment through research, and to discuss their experiences and the technologies that we use now and in the future, and to share our knowledge, ideas and practical know-how.

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