EU wants Europe-wide satellite license

The European Union wants to let companies providing satellite-to-mobile phone services get one

EU-wide license and avoid applying for authorization from each of the bloc's 27 nations, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said one-stop shopping should help cut costs and boost the satellite-phone industry in Europe, EU spokesman Martin Selmayr said.

Mobile satellite services can beam wireless Internet, television and emergency communications to mobile phones in remote areas, the report said.

If EU lawmakers and governments give their backing by early next year, the EU's executive office would select its preferred satellite operators a year later, the Associated Press report said.
National agencies would then approve the choice. The launch of the first satellites to offer the services
could come in 2011.

SES Astra and France's Eutelsat Communications said last year they would jointly launch satellites to beam broadcasts to mobile phones and cars and offer mobile-to-mobile services.

French satellite maker Thales Alenia Space France is already building them a $176 million module to be added to Eutelsat's W2A satellite due to launch in 2009. The companies already have French permission to broadcast in the 2-Ghz band.

ICO Global Communications, which claims a prior right to use that spectrum, says it still plans to launch more satellites despite missing earlier deadlines.

The Associated Press report further said the EU has set no cap on the number of licenses it would give out. Any fees for the new licenses would be paid to national governments, not to the European Union.