26 May 2011. ESPI Report 32 presents a comprehensive overview of SatCom policy issues highlighting the strategic role of the sector for economic growth in Europe.
For some time, a debate has been staged about a missing specific policy line for SatCom in Europe. Responding to this, the Report analyses the contributing elements of SatCom for different European policy initiatives. The relevance of SatCom can be seen through four clusters of policy actions, such as space policy, Lisbon strategy and its annex for the growth of Europe, industrial policy and international relations. The Report identifies two policy priorities, namely, the SatCom industrial policy and the delivery of the Digital Agenda. The first is presented through an integrated view among EU, ESA and Member States and also through a cross-sectional view between the space, and the information/communication technology sectors. The second policy priority highlights the main issues encountered with the ambition to make every European digital by 2013. For these purposes there are different technologies that can be chosen. Each technology has pros and cons in terms of technical achievements and socio-economic resources. In any case the choice must achieve the goal of providing basic broadband for every one with 100% of European coverage by 2013 and the fast and ultra-fast broadband by 2020.
The Digital Agenda is one of the flagship initiatives emenating from “Europe 2020”, representing the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Thus a prompt and efficient choice to fill the current digital divide must be made, and the choice of the SatCom technology provides features such as, inter alia, large land-coverage and uniform Quality of Service (QoS), low ground-infrastructure impacts, affordability in remote locations and easy deployment. Furthermore, an absence of SatCom development efforts in Europe implies a reduction of autonomy. The SatCom industry requires the largest number of launches, enhancing the performance of the European launcher – Arianne – ; it permits Europe to fill the orbital positions and spectrum usage assigned by ITU which would otherwise have been unused; and it sustains the European knowledge base in digital communication, in terms of patents and international relationships from the scientific, military and commercial points of view. All these opportunities lead to conclusions and policy recommendations addressed to specific actors – the EU Council, European Commission, European Parliament, ESA and Member States – for individual or interactive consideration and implementation.
Participants in the SatCom workshop at ESPI on 15 December 2010 (from left): Thomas Brandtner (EU Council Secretariat), Aarti Holla-Maini (ESOA), Benoist Deschamps (CEPT), Veronica La Regina (Resident Fellow at ESPI), Christine Leurquin (SES), Pertti Jauhiainen (EC - DG INFSO), Andras Roboz (EC - DG ENTR), José Maria Casas (ESA), Maurizio Fargnoli (Telespazio), António Colaço (EC - DG MOVE) and Kai-Uwe Schrogl (Director of ESPI)
The study was conducted by Veronica La Regina, ESPI Resident Fellow. It is based on her function as organiser of the stakeholder workshop on SatCom policy, held in December 2010 at ESPI. In addition, it benefited from her participation as a speaker in the 4th ESPI Autumn Conference and in the European Technology non-Dependence Conference in April 2011 and from interactions and discussions with experts.