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European satellite operators have underlined the crucial role that satellite plays in the roll-out of future digital infrastructures.
The European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), represented by its Secretary General, Aarti Holla, and by the CEO of SES, Karim Michel Sabbagh, participated in a high-level meeting between leading EU political and business representatives in Venice.
Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES and Member of the ESOA Board, spoke alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, policy makers from European Union member states and CEOs of leading ICT companies at “Digital Venice 2014”, an event organised by the Italian Presidency.
Taking the floor to welcome the Digital Venice initiative, Sabbagh noted that the future of Internet will be dominated by video, demanding high-quality services anytime, anywhere, and on any device. “This causes an unprecedented demand for capacity, with Cisco forecasting an increase in annual global IP traffic to more than a Zettabyte – one thousand billion Gigabytes – already in 2016”, Sabbagh said. “As soon as Ultra-HD television becomes mainstream, this will increase even further and individual usage in Europe could then require up to a 100-fold increase over today’s household data capacity.”
“Can networks cope with this? Can operators afford such traffic generating minimal, if any, transport value? Is the implied carbon footprint explosion acceptable? Would citizens have equal access to such services? The answer to these questions is not obvious”, Sabbagh said. “Satellite is an infrastructure that has already reached the Zettabyte era. With its unsurpassed universal capacities and its unmatched economies in one-to-many traffic, it can play a central role in building an optimal, smart and future-proof next-generation network. I invite the attendees of today’s Roundtable to cooperate on hybrid satellite-terrestrial solutions as they come at a fraction of the cost. They help offload terrestrial networks and redirect investments; they accelerate the delivery of multi-play benefits, allow much more efficient use of spectrum resources and help avoid a new digital divide.”
Aarti Holla, ESOA Secretary General, speaking on a panel on the Digital Single Market with DG CONNECT Deputy Director General Roberto Viola, noted the extreme cost-efficiency of satellite in down-stream video delivery, as part of the solution to intelligent network management.
“Increasing HDTV penetration and the emergence of Ultra HDTV, as seen in recent transmissions from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, demonstrate the need to develop partnerships and find sustainable commercial solutions that integrate satellite into the complex networks required to deliver next generation video”, Holla said. “This is the only way that citizens will really reap the benefits of video anytime, anywhere and on any device.”