09.34 Europe/London, August 29, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

The probable loss of the communications satellite Express-AM4 will not be allowed to impact on Russia’s transition to digital broadcasting or provision of internet access via satellite, according to Igo Shegolev, the head of the country’s Ministry of Communications.

Quoted by AKTR and Tass Telecom, he added that six additional satellites were planned to be launched prior to 2013 to assist in the transition to digital broadcasting.

Plans are now being considered to adjust the orbital positions of existing satellites to ensure signal transmissions that would otherwise have been provided by Express-AM4.

Shegolev also said that a project for the provision of internet access via satellite would be implemented in the Far East of Russia and that designers are currently working on a single receiver that will allow for satellite TV and internet reception.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Russian national telco Rostelecom is ready to implement an earlier agreement with the national transmission company RTRS to ensure the country’s transition to digital broadcasting proceeds smoothly.

The Express-AM4 satellite was launched on the night of August 18 but failed to reach its orbital position.