EC reveals pan-European satellite plan

The European Commission has opened up the selection procedure for a new pan-European satellite project. Operators will be able to offer high-speed data, mobile TV, disaster relief and remote medical services under a single selection procedure rather than go through 27 administrations, as has previously been the case.
The announcement follows the EUís earlier decision on mobile satellite services that came into force last month. The licence for spectrum in the 2GHz bands could come into force as early as 2009.

ďMobile satellite services have the tremendous advantage of being able to cover most of the EUís territory thereby reaching millions of EU citizens across borders. They represent an unprecedented opportunity for all Europeans to access new communication services, and this not only in metropolitan areas, but also in rural and less populated regions,Ē said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. She added the substantial investment required created a demand for a simpler licensing procedure.

Interested companies have until October 7, 2008 to submit their applications with the selection procedure taking place in the first part of 2009.

Figures released by the EC show Europe holds 40% of world markets for manufacturing, launching, and operating satellites.