The Year of Disruption Comes to an End. What will 2021 Hold?

2020 has been quite a year in the satellite industry. We saw the fall and rise of OneWeb. We saw Intelsat go into Chapter 11, and then subsequently buy Gogo. We saw a Viasat CEO not called Mark Dankberg. Even without all the pandemic related disruption, there was plenty to keep us busy and to talk about, even though we have all been dealing with incredible amounts of disruption to our personal and professional lives.

In this edition of Via Satellite, we bring you a multitude of different stories. Rachel Jewett looks at how the pandemic has impacted investment into the space sector. With many fearing the worst when the pandemic hit, it seems that despite of this, the attraction to invest in space startups is still high. Jeff Hill goes through the recent archives and looks at some high profile failed mergers in the satellite sector and some of the reasons behind them. This is a very interesting piece.

As you know at Via Satellite, we always put a strong emphasis on talking to the end users of satellite services. Annamarie Nyirady talks to El Al Airlines in Israel about their connectivity plans have altered in light of the pandemic. It is really interesting stuff as airlines across the globe realize the importance of connectivity, but have to figure out ways to justify that investment.

I want to end by thanking you all for your support this year. This has been the year where I think a lot of us have been more appreciative of what we have, and even though we have missed seeing the community face to face, we have continued to enjoy informing, educating, and hopefully even entertaining you this year. We all know the pace of life is fast. It often feels like we are doing 24 issues a year rather than 12! But, I hope you have been able to enjoy your extended time at home with loved ones.

We know as we enter into 2021, life is more uncertain than ever. And we hope the "new normal" could become the "old normal" very soon. I write this editorial note for January at the end of 2020, the day after the first person in the United Kingdom received a coronavirus vaccination. It appears hope is the on the horizon. Let’s hope for a better 2021.

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