Big LEO News Continues to Dominate Sector

In the last edition, we featured an exclusive talking to Sunil Bharti Mittal, one of India’s richest business people about his hopes and aspirations for OneWeb. It was a fascinating interview. This edition, Rachel Jewett and I talk to Dan Goldberg of Telesat about the company's Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) plans in light of its huge announcement with Thales Alenia Space, for the Lightspeed constellation. Via Satellite has started the year with a bang in terms of getting the biggest interviews in the LEO conversation. This leads me nicely into a new virtual LEO event we are planning in April, which is already attracting the biggest names in the industry to speak. Registration is open now for the LEO Digital Forum.

Also in this edition, we reveal the nominees for both our prestigious Satellite Executive of the Year (SEOTY) and Satellite Technology of the Year (STOTY) awards, one of the highlights of the year. It will be an interesting competition this year, given that 2020 was like no other year in recent memory. We have a dynamic and diverse set of nominees for both awards. Last year, Steve Collar of SES and ThinKom won. This year's winners will be announced on April 5 in a special digital event.

Our final feature this month talks to one of the top influencers in In-Flight Connectivity (IFC), Patrick Brannelly of Emirates. Emirates has long been one of the early adopters of cutting edge satellite technology when it comes to provide the next generation of experiences to passengers. However, after an exceedingly tough year in aviation, and the onset of more LEO-based solutions for airlines, where does Emirates stand right now when it comes to investing in new satellite tech? Here we find out.

I hope you are all having a good start to the year. Away from satellite, the world is still uncertain. While there is hope that the vaccine rollout will be successful and deliver us away from this COVID nightmare, the numbers of infections and deaths remain worringly high. On behalf of Via Satellite, we continue to wish you a safe and healthy 2021. We miss seeing you and we look forward to seeing you soon. VS

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