Advanced Television

EU satellites disrupted by Russia

July 3, 2024

The Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad has been pinpointed as being one source of numerous interferences on European satellites owned by SES, Eutelsat and others.

The United Nations agency that oversees communications technology ha said that Russia should “immediately cease any deliberate action to cause harmful interference to frequency assignments of other administrations,” in a summary of the International Telecommunications Union’s Radio Regulations Board (RRB) meeting issued on July 1st.

Complaints had been formally lodged by Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ukraine. The complaints state that the incidents have deliberately jammed GPS signals, endangered air traffic control and interrupted children’s TV channels to show violent images of the Ukraine war.

“The nature of the interference took several forms, ranging from high-power unmodulated carriers to replicated multiplexing signals replacing the original content transmitted by the BSS feeder link earth station over-riding the original content,” stated the ITU’s RRB.

Bloomberg has reported that at least three of Eutelsat’s satellites have been “seriously affected” by Russian interference, leading to interrupted broadcasts. In two specific instances, Russia reportedly replaced the programming of Disney broadcasts with war videos in Russian.

“The Board expressed its grave concern regarding the use of signals to cause intentional harmful interference,” the Geneva-based ITU’s Radio Regulations Board said in a statement.

The ITU said that disruptions to the French and Swedish satellite networks “seemed to originate from [teleports] located in the areas of Moscow, Kaliningrad and Pavlovka” and called them “extremely worrisome and unacceptable”.

Ukraine’s complaint to the ITU documented 11 cases of interference in the last three months affecting dozens of Ukrainian television programmes, according to Reuters.

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