Annual World Satellite Business Week successfully connected global decision makers from the satellite communications and information sectors despite COVID-19 pandemic
Paris, 18 November 2020 – Euroconsult, the leading global consulting firm focused on space and satellite-enabled markets, held its annual World Satellite Business Week event virtually last week from November 9-11, 2020. The premier global event, which connects decision makers from the satellite communications and information sectors, continued its success story with dozens of engaging live panel discussions, presentations and interviews. A highlight of the event was the annual awards ceremony, honoring excellence in Connectivity and Satellite Communications as well as Earth Observation, Information and Artificial Intelligence.
“The virtual edition of our 2020 Summit has been extremely well received with around 800 participants from around the world connecting over the three days of the event,” said Lorraine Whitfield, Chief Marketing and Events Officer at Euroconsult. “Just as they do when we meet in person, attendees and speakers engaged in the conference program, meeting to share strategies, observations and create the alliances that move the industry forward. It is an honor to hold this annual forum that brings together top management teams from satellite-related companies and to recognize the excellence of so many important organizations.”
The conference featured a unique line-up of 160 speakers including 60+ President and CEOs taking part in live virtual roundtables and presentations. The program began with the flagship “Summit for Satellite Financing” with investors discussing the impact of the pandemic on their strategies. Concurrently the “Enterprise Connectivity & SmartPlane Track” included representatives from Microsoft, BT and Liquid Telecom in addition to more traditional satellite players. Discussions included the growing need for universal access and the status of both the inflight connectivity and maritime markets. The CEOs of the leading global satellite operators took part in round tables as in previous years and said that, despite the current impact of the Pandemic on certain segments such as inflight connectivity, they continued to see strong demand for their services. Some executives also argued that the pandemic demonstrated the value of satellite communications.
As part of the program, Euroconsult also announced the recipients of its outstanding achievement awards. “One of the highlights of our annual event is to honor the companies that are driving the success of satellite-enabled markets,” said Pacome Revillon, Chief Executive Officer of Euroconsult. “In both satellite communications and Earth observation, our awards process recognizes leaders in strategic growth and industry excellence. They were evaluated against numerous high-achievement competitors and all stood out for their excellence demonstrated over the past year”
More than 50 companies have announced their intention to develop Earth observing constellations, representing roughly 1,800 small satellites, the majority of which are under 50kg. This proliferation of new constellations results from a record year for fundraising in 2019, with more than $800 million invested. These new constellations will compete with the incumbent players for lower accuracy and higher revisit rate data which is expected to put pressure on pricing.
Throughout the three-day conference, the program was interspersed with FinSpace sessions, a pitch competition for space tech startups. In its fourth year, the FinSpace program enables entrepreneurs, decision makers, and investors to network, seek out future partnerships, and facilitate industrial deployment and international expansion. “The future and growth of our industry will be shaped through innovative ideas and disruption to solve ongoing challenges,” said Pacôme Revillon. “In that regard, the FinSpace presentations demonstrated no shortage of outstanding new concepts and initiatives and promising future leaders of the industry.”
In other sessions, a representative of the space insurance industry said that space insurers were likely to break even in 2020 after suffering several hundred million dollars in losses in 2018 and 2019, and the chairman of the commercial arm of the Indian space agency said that India’s new space policy will bring revolutionary change, making India’s complete space ecosystem much more accessible.
In addition to the Summit for Satellite Financing, the conference included a two-day Summit on Earth Observation Business. With a track dedicated to Smart Agriculture, attention was brought to the importance of Earth observation satellites for food security and how precision agriculture creates value.
The outstanding achievement awards honored eleven companies for Excellence in Connectivity and Satellite Communications as well as Earth Observation, Information and Artificial Intelligence. Candidates were assessed by a panel of industry experts based on rigorous qualitative and quantitative criteria. Companies and their management teams were evaluated on innovation, strategic decisions and their impact and financial performance indicators, such as EBITDA, revenue growth and size or nature of a commercial agreement.
The award categories and selected winners were:
• Global Satellite Business: Iridium
• Regional Satellite Business: Sky Perfect JSAT
• Strategic Partnership: Microsoft Azure
• Financial Transaction: Maxar
• Global Connectivity / Universal Access: Intelsat & AMN
• Next Gen Service Provider: EarthCube
• New Satcom Operator: Kacific
• New EO Operator: Iceye
• Pioneer Earth Observation: GHGSat
• FinSpace – Satcom & Connectivity: Kythera Space
• FinSpace – Satellite imagery & analytics: SatelliteVu
The following honorees commented on receiving the Euroconsult Outstanding Achievement awards.
Global Satellite Business of the Year
Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium
“It would be a great honor to receive such a prestigious award in even a typical year, but as we all know, 2020 is anything but typical and that makes it all the more meaningful. This award is a testament to the technological and financial transformation Iridium has undergone and the resilience of our business. I’d like to thank all of our employees and our 450-plus partners around the world for their perseverance and determination throughout this year, and over many years. Your hard work and dedication makes it all possible.”
Regional Satellite Business of the Year
Eiichi Yonekura, President, CEO, Sky Perfect JSAT
“We are so honored to receive this award ‘Regional Satellite Business of the Year’ by Euroconsult. In this dynamic time when many new things happening in the industry, SJC highly appreciates our customers and partners who have helped us achieve a successful track record so far. We are excited and committed to continue transforming ourselves to be the best solution for the customers.”
Strategic Partnership of the Year
Tom Keane, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure Global
“On behalf of the entire Microsoft Azure team, I want to thank Euroconsult for their recognition of our Azure Space industry partnerships. Coupling the power of Azure with technologies across our growing space partnership ecosystem provides value-added services to the end-user, including big data storage and compute, connectivity, machine learning, and world class security. At Microsoft, we are grounded in the philosophy that when our partners and customers succeed, we succeed – and from the ground, to orbit, and beyond, this philosophy also holds true for our space partnerships.”
Mobile Connectivity / Universal Access Award of the Year
Partnership between Intelsat and Africa Mobile Networks – Jean-Philippe Gillet, SVP of Global Sales and General Manager of Networks at Intelsat.
“The most impressive part of this effort is its scalability and sustainability. AMN is quickly deploying new sites and connecting millions of people with a model that is sustainable for their business, and for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) they serve. Intelsat is honored to play a role in important work like this that has such a positive impact on people, communities, and local economies.”
Next Gen Service Provider of the Year
Arnaud Guerin, CEO, EarthCube
“EDIDP is a wonderful opportunity to lay the basis of AI and GEOINT and offer to the world a European game-changing solution. Earthcube is very proud to take a significant role in it, along with European leaders such as Airbus, the Joint-Venture Thales/Leonardo and a selection of small and medium businesses with a strong potential. We warmly thank Euroconsult for such a great award.”
New Satcom Operator of the Year
Christian Patouraux, Founder and CEO, Kacific
“We are grateful for the recognition by Euroconsult as ‘Newcomer Satcom Operator of the Year’. Since the launch of our High-Throughput Satellite, Kacific1, in December 2019, we have had the privilege to deliver affordable internet access to underserved communities around the Asia Pacific region, either through mobile backhaul or trunking services with telco partners or through ISPs directly connecting end-users. We are witnessing the deep enabling effects it has had on livelihoods, healthcare and education. The tremendous value of connecting rural, remote and even suburban areas with satellite broadband in Asia Pacific is matched by the outstanding potential of the communities and markets we serve, and we look forward to growing together.”
New EO Operator of the Year
Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE
“2020 has been a very exciting year for ICEYE with remarkable developments in SAR microsatellite technology, innovative achievements in imaging capabilities, and the securing of an extraordinary fundraising. This round of investment ensures the growth of our SAR satellite constellation in 2021, with the revisit rate goal of multiple times each day for any location on Earth. ICEYE is very honoured to be recognized as the “2020 New EO Operator of The Year” by the Euroconsult team of experts.”
Pioneer Earth Observation: GHGSat
Stephane Germain, President, GHGSat
“It is an honor for GHGSat to participate at the World Satellite Business week by Euroconsult and be recognized among our peers for the 2020 Pioneer Earth observation award. This was a milestone year for the company on many levels. Thank you to all those involved and our team who is focused on delivering our global emission monitoring constellation.”
FinSpace – Satcom & Connectivity:
Dr. Jeffrey Freedman, PhD, Kythera’s CEO
“We are honored to be a FinSpace 2020 awardee. As the satellite communications industry migrates to software-defined communications payloads and networks, the need for sophisticated software that ‘defines’ what the satellite and network can and should do on a real-time basis becomes paramount. We’re excited to be at the very forefront of this transformation, enabling satellite operators to dynamically and autonomously optimize service and service quality, and at the same time lower the cost per (useful) bit.”
FinSpace – Satellite imagery & analytics:
Anthony Baker, CEO, SatelliteVu
“SatelliteVu is honored to win such a prestigious industry award and we are looking forward to bringing our infrared insights to the Earth observation market. In the short term, we can offer customers a dedicated preview of our data collected by aircraft, and we welcome speaking to potential partners to develop applications to address global challenges such as climate change.”
About the World Satellite Business Week
The World Satellite Business Week is the unique executive meeting place for the global satellite business. It comprises several tracks, each catering to different vertical markets: Summit for Satellite Financing, Earth Observation Business, Enterprise Connectivity and SmartPlane, and SmartAgri. The summit brings together over 150 top-level speakers and close to 1,000 senior executives from the fixed, mobile and broadband satellite industry, the satellite imagery and information community and the financial community. Top business leaders participate in this must-attend summit to discuss strategy, make deals and strike partnerships. Visit www.satellite-business.com for further information.
The Euroconsult Group is a leading international consulting and research firm specialized in high technology industries, with expertise in the space industry, satellite-based applications, aero connectivity, information and data services. Privately owned and fully independent, we have over thirty years of experience developing comprehensive research programs and working with private companies and government entities, providing end-to-end consulting services, from project strategy definition to implementation, bringing data-led perspectives on the most critical issues. The Euroconsult Group is trusted by 600 clients in over 50 countries. The Group is headquartered in France, with offices in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Singapore.