In its Annual General Meeting, the Board of the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) has elected Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, as its new Chairman of the Board. Dave McGlade, CEO of Intelsat, was re-elected first Vice-Chairman and Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, was elected second Vice-Chairman.
de Rosen succeeds Cato Halsaa, former CEO of Telenor, as Chairman of ESOA. In thanking Cato he said: “During the last year, under Cato’s leadership, ESOA has been shaping the Brussels debate around spectrum. The goal is to ensure recognition of the role of satellites by demonstrating our sector’s heavy use of radio frequencies and by promoting an honest debate about what spectrum is actually required for what services. In 2013, the European Commission is taking concrete steps to facilitate the roll-out of satellite broadband in support of the Digital Agenda 2013 target of broadband for all. This is important work for European citizens and for the future sustainability of our sector. I am very proud to take on the responsibility of driving ESOA’s ambitions forward in the coming years.”
Europe’s satellite operators have shown solid growth in recent years in a challenging overall economic environment. They are world leaders in their field, providing a backbone for Europe’s space industry: this is vital given that the EU is about to embark on implementation of its first Space Industrial Policy through DG Enterprise & Industry. The Commission has recognised the crucial role of satellite operators, but will need to follow through with implementation actions such as working with other DGs to help regions understand how they can take advantage of satellite solutions to develop broader access to digital services by European citizens and businesses.
de Rosen concluded: “Satellites provide everyday, emergency and strategic services across the globe and most particularly to citizens in areas unserved by other technologies. In pushing for a Digital Single Market, DG CONNECT has realised the need for satellites to make 100 per cent broadband coverage a reality. Beyond this, our technologies will be a key infrastructure for tomorrow’s “converging world”, relieving bottlenecks and working in a hybrid configuration with terrestrial networks as they become congested by bandwidth-hungry video content demanded by users. They are therefore also directly relevant to next generation networks and services of the future.”