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European satellite group launches global expansion

Aarti Holla-Maini.jpg

A European satellite operators’ group is turning itself into a global association, and has signed up new members including Amazon and Lockheed Martin.

What’s officially the EMEA Satellite Operators’ Association (ESOA) has decided to become the Global Satellite Operators’ Association, staying as a CEO-driven industry organisation.

“This is an important change that will help ensure the industry is positioned well into the future”, said Aarti Holla-Maini (pictured), the secretary general of ESOA.

GSOA, as it is becoming, said it will remain the only CEO-driven satellite industry association. “It will focus on a core mission of providing a unified voice and a platform for collaboration for satellite operators globally to ensure their continued success and for broadening the opportunities for policymakers and industry players to leverage satellite services to fulfil their objectives.”

Holla-Maini acknowledged the expansion of the ESOA into the GSOA might cause conflicts. She said: “We also recognise that there are other industry associations who will want to understand the implications of this change and we look forward to working with them to ensure the satellite communications sector has the strongest possible, unified global voice.”

Stephen Spengler, the CEO of Intelsat who chairs the ESOA, said: “The creation of GSOA reflects a strong belief in the satellite communications sector that a strong, global voice is needed to ensure that the sector is well positioned to helping create a more connected and sustainable world”

Seven new members –Hong Kong-based APT, Argentina’s ARSAT, Moscow-based Intersputnik and Brazil’s Star One, plus US companies Amazon, Lockheed Martin and Omnispace – have already agreed to join GSOA.

Spengler said: “The fact that new members are already joining us is a demonstration of support for GSOA’s mission and the need to ensure that, together, we have a strong voice in shaping the communications ecosystem of the future.”

The association said it expects that the industry will increase the number of satellite data connections by 250% by 2030 and increase the data consumed by those connections 15-fold.

The new members join companies such as Arabsat, Avanti, Echostar-Hughes, HellasSat, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, OneWeb, SES, Telenor, Thuraya, Turksat, Viasat and Yahsat. There are representatives of the broader space industry, including Airbus, Arianespace, ST Engineering and Thales Alenia Space.