February 22, 2011
The frequencies allocated to the Lebanese bouquet on Arabsat have been exposed to interference since February 17, 2011. The TRA Spectrum Control team conducted measurements in cooperation with the technicians of the ground broadcasting station in Jouret El Balout on February 18, 2011. The measurements indicated the existence of interference on the frequency allocated to the Lebanese satellite channels on Arabsat downlink frequency 11957 MHz (3A) -26 deg East, which is likely to be caused by interference on the frequency assigned for the uplink 17 557 MHz during intermittent and varying times.
Consequently, the TRA spectrum team coordinated with the technical team of Arabsat and the engineers working in Jouret el Balout station to take all necessary measures to determine the source of interference. The research showed that the interference is most likely due to the use of a mobile ground station (SNG) located outside the Lebanese borders, since the coverage area of the Arabsat satellite extends over large areas of the Middle East,the Gulf, Africa and Europe. The Ministry of Telecommunications confirmed that the concerned station does not have a license to use these frequencies in Lebanon.
Subsequently the TRA and the Ministry of Telecommunications dedicated teams, contacted Arabsat management from Jouret Al Blallout and agreed on allocating another frequency to the Lebanese bouquet that will transmit in conjunction with the current frequency. As a matter of fact, the technical team in Jouret Al Ballout started broadcasting the Lebanese Bouquet on two different frequencies and this until the interference on Arabsat gets to an end. It is also worth mentioning that the interference did not only affect the Lebanese channels, but has reached other channels such as Al Jazeera for instance.
However, few hours further to the activation of the new frequency on Arabsat, another interference on the Nilesat satellite appeared on the 19th and 20th of February, 2011 which resulted in cutting off the broadcast on all the Lebanese bouquet.
Further to this new interference, the TRA and the Ministry team contacted the management of Nilesat and agreed to allocate a new frequency for the Lebanese bouquet based on the solution previously presented by Arabsat. Nilesat took action accordingly, and the Lebanese channels were broadcasted again except for NBN station that was halted further to Nilesat decision.
The Lebanese management informed the management of Nilesat of his objection to this exception, and the Jaras station placed its frequency at the disposal of NBN chanel, but the management of Nilesat maintained its decision and stopped the NBN broadcast again.
Finally, since the cooperation of the management of Arabsat, especially Mr. Khalid Balkheyour, was positive and constructive unlike Nilesat management, the TRA contacted Arabsat again and agreed on including NBN within the Lebanese bouquet, to ensure the audience of this station a substitute to the broadcast on Nile Sat.
Please find below some of the measurements taken in Jouret Al Balout station