Making Sense of the New Virtual World

Welcome to the July edition of Via Satellite. We have just finished our first virtual event, Digital CyberSat Week, where we hosted about 10 hours of content including keynotes, panels, and training sessions. The event was a great success, and we will look to do more of these going forward, as we look to find new ways to engage with the community.

Like most of you, we are still in the process of lockdown, and although things are slowly easing, it is step by step. And while the satellite industry is also taking some steps back to normalcy, the industry is entering an uncertain time. While the industry places great stock on its resiliency, this pandemic is going to impact the industry in ways, we perhaps have not seen yet.

In this edition, we look at the current state of play of some interesting parts of the market. The cellular backhaul market has always been a rich one for satellite, but now more than ever, we are realizing the importance of remote connectivity. As communication to family members, doctors, and teachers is more vital than ever in both rural and urban areas, there may be further opportunities for satellite players to work with wireless operators to finally bridge the digital divide. We look at this from a number of different angles, talking to both end users, and key satellite players.

The launch market is getting back to normal after a few slowdowns. With so many companys looking to launch satellites, any delay here can impact a number of operators. My colleague Rachel Jewett has spoken to a number of launch providers about how the pandemic is affecting their goals for the year. It is very interesting to see how quickly these companies are adjusting to a new normal.

My colleague Jeff Hill looks at the impact on young people and the human resource side of things for satellite companies. A number of companies are looking to streamline and be more efficient, and that means a lot of talented young engineers are looking for new positions unfortunately. We look at this side of things and what can happen next.

Finally, I will end by continuing to wish you, your loved ones and your friends good health over the next few weeks. We all fear a second wave, but hope it won’t come. We are not out of the woods by any means. So, stay safe and we will continue to serve this community as best we can over the next few months.

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