EU starts single licensing system for satellite services

The European Commission launched a single European selection procedure for providers of communication services via satellite across Europe.

A Xinhua News report further said under the procedure, satellite operators will for the first time be able to offer services such as high speed data, mobile TV, disaster relief and remote medical services across Europe, instead of under the different national systems of the 27 European Union member states.

Until now, in spite of the clear cross-border dimension of satellite services, existing national rules obstructed the creation of a single EU market for mobile satellite services by leaving the selection of operators to each member state.

The result was a divergence in national approaches that created a patchwork of procedures, legal uncertainty and a substantial competitive disadvantage for the satellite industry in Europe.

To remove these obstacles, the commission proposed in August last year that a single selection procedure for mobile satellite services be organized at the EU level.

The proposal was adopted by the European Parliament and the EU governments this year.

Interested companies have until October to present their applications to the European Commission. The commission expects the selection procedure to be completed in the first part of 2009, with the first satellite launches likely to take place within the same year.