September 27, 2008

Federal Operator to Distribute Glonass Services to Be Set Up in Russia Within 2-3 Months – Afk Sistema Head

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Sept 27 (Interfax) - A federal operator to distribute the information services provided with the use of the GLONASS global satellite navigation system will be established within the next two or three months, said Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the head of AFK-Sistema, a major Russian diversified consumer services corporation.

"Everything will be clarified within two or three months as regards the establishment of a federal operator to provide information services to transportation vehicles, the ministries and other agencies," Yevtushenkov said at a working meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday.

"A government should issue a decree to assign a special status to this federal operator," Yevtushenkov said. In addition, he suggested that, to promote the GLONASS system on the Russian market, the lawmakers should pass a bill on navigation as soon as possible, which would "provide certain advantages to GLONASS on our country's territory."

Putin replied to this, "Your work should be coordinated with the work on launching the satellites."

"A number of [GLONASS] satellites have already been launched, one more should be launched by the end of the year, and we will launch at least two to four, or maybe even 30 satellites more, in the future," Putin said.

"What counts most is that all elements of this work should go simultaneously and nothing should lag behind," Putin said. "It would be wrong if the satellite constellation is formed and you work has not yet been completed," he said.

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