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Focus: ISCe—Epitome Of Efficiency, 3-In-One Conference

by Pattie Lesser

A three-in-one conference must be similar to drinking a double espresso and a Red Bull, combined. Talk about getting many things accomplished in a little amount of time! Very smart. The ISCe 2008, ICSSC-2008 and Navy SATCOM Users Workshop has proven to be a major success. An indicator of such is in sheer numbers‚ close to seven hundred satellite industry executives and military/government leaders who spent three days addressing key industry issues, policies, opportunities and challenges in San Diego, at Hannover Fairs‚ seventh annual ISCe conference.

The conference, which ended on June 12, focused its program on Access to SATCOM for the Next Decade, and provided a unique forum for military SATCOM users and planners, and commercial SATCOM products and service providers. This enabled them to examine the continuing importance of satellites in the global information and war fighting grid.

This was the first time in the seven-year history that ISCe teamed with two other leading organizations to provide a platform for collaborative discussion and networking. Members and supporters of the 26th Annual AIAA International Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC-2008) and the 2nd Annual Navy SATCOM Users Workshop joined with hundreds of industry and government/military leaders in a comprehensive program of technical, marketing, and user-themed panels.

Speaking of themes, several dominated ISCe 2008.
  • The critical need for commercial bandwidth and services to support the military and its warfighters
  • The convergence of satellite communications with fixed, mobile, and wireless networks
  • The increasingly crucial role played by integrators of satellite services to deliver solutions to commercial and government customers

Plans are already underway for next year’s event—ISCe 2009, which will take place June 2nd through 4th at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, in San Diego, California. In her annual State of the Satellite Industry report, Satellite Industry Association (SIA) president Patricia Cooper reported a 16 percent growth in global revenues for the commercial satellite industry. Patricia’s annual report was commissioned by her organization and conducted by Futron Corp. Worldwide industry revenues in 2007 were $123 billion, representing an average annual growth of 11.5 percent for the period from 2002-2007. Encouraging reports, indeed. Satellite services’ revenues continued to drive the overall industry, with a 60 percent total share of industry revenues.

Continuing a trend identified in previous Futron/ISCe surveys, commercial attendees also project that the Department of Defense will remain their primary target for new products and services. However, some five percent are planning to increase their solutions targeting Department of Homeland Security and public safety/first responders. While satellite capacity sales remain the dominant new service driver for most respondents, more than 20 percent see an increase in their hybrid network services. Twice as many respondents as last year project software to be their big driver of new business.

Almost 70 percent of military and other government attendees anticipate that the launch of new military satellites will have no impact on their use of commercial communications satellites; more than 20 percent projected that commercial usage will decline by 25 percent or more.

Seventy percent believe availability of appropriate space segment is the government’s greatest challenge in utilizing commercial satellites, 30 percent see availability of ground terminals as the greater challenge in accessing commercial bandwidth.

Military/government attendees gave the commercial satellite industry good grades on understanding and meeting government needs. More than 85 percent reported that commercial vendors meet their needs in a timely manner always or most of the time, while 76 percent believe industry understands their service and procurement requirements.

The Boeing Corporation played host to the awards dinner in which the ISCe honored Globecomm Systems‚ Chairman and CEO, David Hershberg, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Hershberg joins previous renowned recipients such as Dr. Harold Rosen (formerly of Hughes), Connie Kullman (formerly with Intelsat), Dr. Denis Curtin (XTAR) and Joseph Clayton, among others. ISCe also honored ATCi founder and CEO Gary Hatch with its Innovation Award and Boeing Satellite Systems International with its 2008 Leadership Award.

At its annual Awards Luncheon, the AIAA International Communication Satellite Systems Conference presented Mark Dankberg, ViaSat CEO & Chairman, with its Aerospace Communications Award. Dankberg, founder of the company, was cited for shepherding ViaSat into a leading satellite communications company through outstanding leadership and technical expertise.

“This year’s ISCe event was the culmination of a year-long planning process involving the expertise of the ISCe Advisory Board, our partners at the AIAA and our program partners the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) and SPAWAR, said David Bross, ISCe 2008 Chairman and Director of Business Development, HFUSA. “The new military/government focus of ISCe proved key to capitalizing on the economic trends affecting the commercial satellite industry and its military and government customers.”

Future events include—October 14th, the third annual ISCe Satellite Investment Symposium (ISIS NYC 08) to take place at the 3 West Club in Manhattan, New York—February 4 and 5, 2009, HFUSA will launch the Multichannel Content Distribution Conference & Expo (Powered by CeBIT) at the University City Hilton Hotel, Universal Studios, California. Focusing on the commercial and entertainment sides of multichannel and mobile signal content delivery to consumers, this hybrid conference and expo will address networks and distribution, and will look behind the scenes at what the impetus is that creates the transport of content.