As we approach the end of the year, our thoughts turn to WRC-2015, where the satellite industry once again will look to defy the odds and hold onto precious spectrum, as the wireless industry once again makes concerted efforts to gain hold of new spectrum for mobile services.
While this year has been momentous in many ways for the satellite industry — with the new LEO constellations announced, and a general excitement around the industry — it is the old-fashioned regulatory battle for spectrum which ultimately could define whether this is truly a year to remember for the industry. While it is exciting to talk about the impact of Facebook, Google, and even SpaceX, the industry’s lifeblood is spectrum. The stakes in Geneva could not be higher and the industry is really only as good as the spectrum it is able to use for a myriad of services.
What is interesting about this particular issue of Via Satellite is how satellites are being used in some of the major global issues of the day. In this edition, we touch upon issues such as human trafficking, border monitoring and others. It certainly would be worth the ITU remembering as the world goes into a period of political and social instability, how satellite technology will likely be needed more than ever going forward.
On a separate note, it was also announced in October that Michel de Rosen would be stepping down next year as the CEO of Eutelsat. De Rosen has been a breath of fresh air to the satellite industry and certainly one of the most charismatic CEOs in recent times. However, he has also been highly skilled, and Eutelsat is far more of a global operator than it ever was in the past. He has definitely taken the company to the next level, and I will miss his lively presence on the main opening panel at SATELLITE. He will certainly not be an easy act to follow.
Mark Holmes is the editorial director of Via Satellite and Avionics magazines.