The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) welcomed over 180 delegates to the first Satellite Industry Forum (SIF) in Singapore since its rebrand from Casbaa in August 2018. On Monday, CEO Louis Boswell reiterated the importance of AVIA’s continued focus and support of the satellite industry in this period of great change and disruption, particularly in the areas of policy and regulation.
SIF brought together many of the most influential leaders of the industry this year to discuss critical issues including regulatory discussions at WRC19, the raging spectrum wars among satellite operators, pricing, demand & supply, and the latest in “Newspace” activities.
The need for innovation in order to stay relevant was a main point for keynote speaker, Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks. In his opening address, Steve said that “customers demand high quality video everywhere, anytime and on any screen. Satellite operators can play key roles in the digital era especially in integrating satellite with the Cloud and supporting applications that will create more experience and value for the customers.”
Pricing is still a challenge for the industry with overcapacity and increasing pressure on costs and this therefore increases the pressing need for innovation. Mitsutoshi Akao, Group President of Global Business Group of SKY Perfect JSAT noted that the “Asia region is a very tough market, so in order to survive, we need more cost-effective satellites and that is one of the reasons we have launched a new high-throughput satellite.”
The other prominent discussion of the day centred around spectrum wars. “Spectrum should be allocated to services that make highest and best use of it”, said Steve Collar. Chen Xun, EVP of APT Satellite added that a “C-band frequency war is inevitable. The industry has to fight harder to protect it especially in Asia where C-band is most viable.”
In the closing C-Suite panel, Lon Levin, President & CEO of GEOshare predicted that “5G and the Internet of Things will happen faster than we are planning for. This will be a great opportunity for satellite operators, many of which are already seeing an increase in data transmission business. To take full advantage of the future flood of 5G needs, the satellite industry must develop ground segments that facilitate the transmission of 5G such that the choice between terrestrial and satellite becomes irrelevant.”
Jim Simpson, CEO of Saturn Satellite Networks, advised that “in this era of dynamic change, the satellite industry needs to evaluate what it does best - delivering large amounts of capacity into areas without substantial terrestrial infrastructure, leveraging commercial electronics and taking advantage of economics and advancements, and focusing on market needs.”
The Satellite Industry Forum was supported by AsiaSat, China Satellite Communications, Eutelsat, GEOshare, Hughes Network Systems, ILS, Integrasys, Marsh, Maxar, Newtec, NorthTelecom, Saturn, SES, SpaceBridge, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and SpaceX.