Satellite radio interference is a growing problem confronting all satellite operators and users. Virtually every geostationary satellite experiences some type of interference incident in its lifetime. Our records indicate thousands of reported interference incidents a year--with hundreds or possibly thousands more going unreported. When this occurs, it is not just the operator or customer who is damaged by the event. Radio-frequency interference negatively impacts all sectors of the satellite sector both in terms of lost revenue and negative perceptions of the satellite-communications business. For example, a major interference incident blocked World Cup soccer 2010 transmission to most of the Middle East region for a period. Understandably, viewers within the region were greatly inconvenienced and unhappy.
The causes of interference are many and well documented. Cost-cutting measures by uplinkers, such as staff reductions, in addition to the proliferation of very small, lower-cost antenna systems, poor installation and/or operational practices, or premature equipment failure all contribute to satellite radio interference. Through its Satellite Operators Interference Initiative, satellite operators are promoting practices that assist the uplink community to be more responsible in their usage and to understand the consequences of interference.
Furthermore, the user community--although highly competitive--is united under the nonprofit Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group (SUIRG) association umbrella. Through numerous SUIRG initiatives, the community is dedicated to the goal of combating and stopping interference before it begins. SUIRG is holding its 7th annual Satellite Interference Conference September 28-30 at the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA. The event is co-hosted by SAT Corp.
SUIRG's Satellite Interference Conference annually attracts leading satellite industry executives from over 15 different countries for three days of candid and informative problem-solving discussions and information sharing on satellite interference. These industry leaders are stakeholders in reducing interference. They recognize the value of a working meeting where attendees openly discuss interference incident case studies and resolutions, implications of interference, and ongoing mitigation programs.
Among many interesting topics, attendees will learn about the multiple initiatives that SUIRG has in place to get carrier identification accepted as a standard for voice, video, and data equipment. They also will hear about the SUIRG web-based tool for identifying and resolving interference incidents. To learn more, please visit www.suirg.org.