Rupert Pearce describes satellites’ role in digitized society

19 October 2016: Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce, in his capacity as Chairman of ESOA, the EMEA Satellite Operators Association, has spoken to Members of the European Parliament about the central role of satellite communication services in a digitized world.

He was invited to a Sky and Space Intergroup debate on “Connectivity: A New Horizon for EU Space Policy” hosted in Brussels today by MEP Monika Hohlmeier.

Rupert spoke alongside Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CONNECT, the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, and Pierre Delsaux, Deputy Director General of DG GROW, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Digital opportunities

The European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy aims to open up digital opportunities for people and business and to ensure sufficient connectivity is available to create a ‘European Gigabit Society’.

Rupert noted: “As well as extending their reach, satellites provide an invisible and resilient overlay for terrestrial networks. The Gigabit Society implies millions of connections between people, devices, and things. This system of systems will require inter-connectivity and stability at unprecedented levels that terrestrial networks alone cannot deliver.”

Roberto Viola gave as an example the development of the connected car. “Satellite communications will play an important role in ensuring ubiquitous availability of infotainment and safety services as well as over-the-air software updates for cars, and are therefore vital in making the connected car a reality in Europe,” he said.

Aarti Holla, ESOA Secretary General, added: “We look forward to working with DG CONNECT and DG GROW on implementation of both the 5G Action Plan and the Space Strategy to ensure that a maximum of citizens and business sectors can benefit from the unique reach and multicasting abilities of satellite networks.”