AVIA’s Satellite Industry Forum highlights resilience of satellite industry
The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) held its annual Satellite Industry Forum (SIF) as a virtual conference, from 24 – 25 September, which allowed for truly global participation with delegates from around the world in attendance. The event also saw over 100 new companies register to be part of the two-day discussions on Video in the Satellite World.
The event opened with on a note of optimism from Louis Boswell, AVIA CEO. Despite unprecedented challenges and disruption for the industry in recent years, more video is being created, distributed and consumed than ever before, and satellite continues to play an indispensable role in delivering that video. “Satellite’s strength in multicasting across wide areas cannot be matched by any other technology,” commented Boswell.
Continuing with the tone of optimism was Yew Weng Soo VP, Sales & Market Development, SES Video, SES, and Chairman of the Satellite Industry Committee. “The satellite industry is playing a key role in fighting the outbreak with a scale and reach in helping to inform, entertain and keep all connected,” added Soo. “Video and particularly satellite, will not just bounce back but use this time to transform itself to change consumer behaviour and thrive in the post Covid world.”
At the opening Asia Pacific Thought Leaders’ Panel, Terry Bleakley, Regional VP, Asia Pacific, Intelsat, shared that the resilience of Intelsat’s business was having a diversified portfolio. Through crossing many verticals across the markets they served, a downturn in one business saw an upturn in another. Bleakley also added how important satellite has been for this pandemic, especially in remote environments and how essential satellite was for remote connectivity, creating further opportunity for consolidation and vertical integration.
Another opportunity that the satellite industry also identified was the role female leadership could play in fostering greater change for the sector. At this year’s Women in Satellite panel, discussions centered around the importance of diversity to be part of the policy dialogue for the Information and Communication Technology sector, to show that the industry was supporting gender equality and bridging the gender divide. Nicole Robinson, SVP Global Government, SES, shared that a 2020 Catalyst study showed very strong links between profitability of businesses and workplace diversity. Added Anita Bernie, Strategic Business Manager, KISPE Space, “Diversity is a smart business decision. Diversity not just to hit quotas or to tick a box but to bring alternative thoughts and ideas.” Bernie also commented that for an organisation to do better in the world of today, and to be better prepared for the future and the pace of rapid change, it needed a team that is representative of the world it lives in and the customers that it reaches and serves.
The topic of integration followed through to the closing panel of the conference, with industry leaders weighing in on what would drive global growth for the industry in the next decade. On the question posed on whether satellite should be an integrated component of the telecom value chain and ecosystem, Roger Tong, CEO, AsiaSat, opined that “satellite should not be integrated but we can integrate our services…there are multiple fronts that we can compete and succeed in [and] serve the customers with the best that we can do.” Optimism continued to prevail, with Tong sharing his view that video will continue to be the driving force for the satellite industry.
As part of SIF this year, AVIA in partnership with EMEA Satellite Operator’s Association (ESOA), also distributed a booklet on Satellite – An Integral Part of the 5G Ecosystem.