[Satnews] The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced today the four recipients of the first annual Better Satellite World Awards, which honor established companies and disruptive innovators for making our world a more prosperous, healthier, better-educated, more sustainable and inclusive home for all humankind. Selected by an international jury for their achievements were: the Afghan Villages Networks project of Globecomm (USA), the emergency.lu service from SES (Luxembourg), the mobile satellite operator Inmarsat (UK) and legendary SpaceNews journalist Peter B. de Selding. The recipients will be honored at the first Better Satellite World Awards Dinner on 4 December at London’s prestigious Reform Club.
”While the world does not need another awards program, it does need to be aware of the satellite industry and the amazing story it has to tell,” said SSPI’s director of development Louis Zacharilla. “We hope these awards, in conjunction with our ongoing public and social media campaign, alter the narrative regarding the way satellites positively influence every aspect of human endeavor and, as an industry that impacts many industries, is a great one in which to start and build a career.”
According to SSPI, recipients for the Better Satellite World Awards were evaluated in four categories of impact. These were global or regional impact; distribution of knowledge for the improvement of living standards; governance and commerce; and communication and humanity.
The selection of the recipients for the Better Satellite World Awards was made by an international jury consisting of members of the SSPI Satellite Hall of Fame and distinguished industry professionals. The Better Satellite World Awards Dinner in London is produced by SSPI and its UK and Isle of Man Chapters, along with international law firm Milbank, the host sponsor, as well as Arianespace, Intelsat and ManSat.
The Better Satellite World Award Recipients:
Afghanistan Village Networks
Since 2004, companies such as Globecomm have been providing satellite and terrestrial services to build the much-needed communications infrastructure of Afghanistan. It is a quiet success in what is one of the most challenging environments in the world.
Afghan Telecom and Globecomm developed the Village Communication Network (VCN) to provide communication access for the Afghani people in the isolated regions where the communication reach is either unstable or non-existent. In seven years, the network has grown from barely 200 sites to well over 1,000. Before the existence of the VCN Network, most villagers living in the nation’s remote locations had to travel up to 3 days to get to the nearest telephone. Now with the existence of (in many cases) solar powered VCN remote terminals, they have connectivity right in their own village.
This network at the local level followed the successful implementation of a government communications network and a district communications network which pushed services into rural areas. These networks led to support for the nation’s first national democratic vote, new Internet cafes, lower mobile carrier costs and the connection of 42 government ministries. This has led to a more effectively managed communication with citizens. Globecomm constructed a hybrid satellite-fiber network using whose international gateway, which relied on Thuraya 1.8M terminals and Intelsat “B” earth stations. These have helped the nation to position itself for the day when it can fully participate in the global economy.
emergency.lu by SES
The emergency.lu system is a global VSAT-based, multi-layer communications platform that immediately fills the gap at the onset of large-scale disasters. In addition to a global VSAT network, it provides the prepositioned equipment, always-available satellite capacity, rapid deployment from air rescue jets and a suite of applications to provide humanitarian responders with connectivity as well as communication and coordination facilities. The system is the result of cooperation between the Government of Luxembourg and the satellite industry. It has been integrated into the UN and EU operational disaster management procedures and has been offered as “a global public good” for the past three years.
Most recently, the service performed life-saving tasks following the powerful 25 April, 2015 earthquake in Nepal. It is also credited with supporting reconstruction efforts following Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, as well as communication and coordination efforts following the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Established originally as an international treaty organization (nonprofit) with a singular mission to create a global network providing emergency communications for ships at sea, Inmarsat enabled significant growth in seaborne trade and facilitated operator and worker safety in the offshore energy industry. The organization has grown and its aeronautical data service is the world's only source of reliable information of its kind. When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over the ocean, Inmarsat provided investigators and news outlets the most reliable source of information.
Through a range of small terminals, Inmarsat has also become the communications option of choice for broadcast journalists on assignment, relief organizations responding to disasters, and humanitarian services operating beyond the edge of terrestrial networks. With its new Global Xpress Ka-band constellation, the company's ability to provide connectivity for safety, information related to fishing, the environment and humanitarian support under the generic heading of “The Internet of Things,” will offer a major leap forward.
Peter B. de Selding
Peter B. de Selding, the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews, is the dean of space and satellite reporters. The sheer volume of his output, his integrity, reputation and authority continues to influence leaders, decision-makers in government and finance, and the course and understanding of the industry in substantive ways. SpaceNews and SpaceNews.com have the largest readership of any media outlet in the space and satellite community and Peter’s work covers all aspects of it.
As an interviewer he is both revered and feared, and a mention in a story by Peter can have impact on the stock of businesses large and small. He has an ability to decipher the technical arcana of regulatory issues and report to his readers in precise, understandable prose.
Working with partner associations and dozens of supporting companies around the world, the Society of Satellite Professionals International’s Better Satellite World campaign is changing the global conversation about satellites and their influence on the economy, business and societies everywhere. The campaign was launched at Satellite 2015 and has begun to level the playing field between satellite and its competition, while expanding opportunities and enthusiasm. More information on the Better Satellite World campaign is available here.
The Society of Satellite Professionals International (www.sspi.org) promotes the growth of the satellite industry by educating current and potential end-users and the general public about the indispensable contributions of satellites to business, government and human welfare, and by connecting satellite professionals worldwide through education, knowledge-sharing and fostering professional relationships.