The once an orbital separation between two satellite frequencies

The demand for satellite based telecommunicationservices increased in the past 25 years, and so has the demand for frequencyspectrum usage.iWhere there was once an orbital separation between two satellite frequencies ofover 3 degrees, many satellites are now operating at a less than 2 degreesseparation, thus increasing the risk of interference between the twofrequencies.iiThe orbital resources of the GSO have become more and more saturated, almostreaching the value of “prime real estate”iii,its scarce nature triggering a race amongst States to obtain a spot on orbit.Due to the “first-come, first-served” system of allocation of the ITUiv,States which do not have a chance in the near future to send a satellite oftheir own into outer space, have turned to a method of reserving a spot in theGSO, in the hope that it will be brought into use in the future.

As thepractice of advanced filing blocks the orbital slot without effectively usingit, such a practice infringes both the provisions of the Outer Space Treatyvherein after: OST and of the ITU Radio Regulationsviherein after: RR. These satellites, that are to take their spot in orbit,usually never materialize; they remain only as a request on paper, and thustheir name “paper satellites”.viii The “massive overfilling is due to a number offactors including the realization of the growing economic value of the scarcespectrum and orbital resource”, Scrambling for Space in Space, ITUPlenipotentiary to Tackle ‘Paper Satellite’ Problem, ITU Press Release, 16September 2002,

html>.ii Committee onthe Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Scientific and Technical Subcommittee,Forty-ninth session, Actual situation in the Geostationary Orbit, 6-17 February2012, A/AC.105/C.1/2012/CRP.25; List of Satellites in Geostationary Orbit, ;Paper Satellites: A Puzzle for the Industry, Satellite Today, 10 January 2010,>.iiiPaper Tigers:The Scramble for Space Spectrum, ITU PP-02 Newsroom,

int/newsarchive/pp02/media_information/feature_satellite.html>.ivPresentation atthe ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Workshop on the Efficient Use of theSpectrum/Orbit Resource, Geneva, 6 May 2009, The InternationalTelecommunication Union .vTreaty on PrinciplesGoverning the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space,Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, 27 January 1967, 18 U.S.T.


S. No. 6347, 610 U.

N.T.S. 205.

viITU RadioRegulations, 2012 edition .vii There is anopinion that the name paper satellites is not the most appropriate one as thesituation of a satellite which is waiting to be allocated a slot is similar tothat of a ‘paper satellite’.

Paper Satellites: A Puzzle for the Industry,Satellite Today, 10 January 2010, .

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