Senior ministers of Russia and Kazakhstan hold GLONASS summit

The deputy prime ministers of two of the CIS Customs Union countries meet in Barcelona to consolidate plans for the deployment of ERA-GLONASS in Kazakhstan.

The meeting took place at the Mobile World Congress which is taking place from 25th to 28th February 2013 in Barcelona. To put more meat on the agreement already reached in a memorandum of understanding between the two countries which was penned in December 2012, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov met with Kazakhstan’s Deputy Premier Kairat Kelimbetov along with members of Russia’s Ministry of Transport and Kazakhstan’s main telecom operator, KazakhTelekom.

Kazakhstan will use the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system to develop an automatic emergency response network similar to the ERA-GLONASS system being developed on the territory of the Russian Federation. The two systems will essentially be the same but with additional navigation and information services being developed specifically by Kazakhstan on the same platform. The Kazakhstan delegation committed to having the system operational by as early as 2015 which fits in with the overall implementation plan for ERA-GLONASS in Russia.

To achieve this tight schedule, KazakhTelekom will work in close cooperation with Russia’s “NP GLONASS”, the non-profit organisation set up to manage the implementation of the Russian emergency-call system.

Kazakhstan’s commitment to the development of ERA-GLONASS on its territory is expected to be followed closely by Belarus as the final country in the Customs Union troika which has yet to fully sign up to the use of ERA-GLONASS. The Eurasian Economic Council (EurasEC) members signed a decision on 30th January 2013 to change the technical regulations concerning the safety of wheeled vehicles in the union which makes it necessary for all vehicles to have the necessary equipment to enable automatic emergency calling by 2015. The timing of the decision was such that equipment suppliers and vehicle manufacturers would have sufficient time to meet homologation requirements. As a Customs Union member, Belarus was part of this agreement.

Vladislav Surkov used the Mobile World Congress as a platform to push the public relations side of the Russian GLONASS system by stating that demand is increasing globally for GLONASS services and that electronic suppliers to the automotive and mobile communications and navigation systems markets were beginning to design GLONASS compliance into their products.

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