The biggest impact on the space and satellite industry 

In episode #75 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Tina Ghataore, CCO of Mynaric

She has had an impressive career so far, holding C-Suite and executive roles globally, as well as contributing significantly to the aerospace industry. 

We unpacked a lot in this episode, from technology and innovation through to Tina’s own experiences and predictions for the industry. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What technology or innovation do you think has had the biggest impact on the space and satellite industry within the last sort of 10 years? 

I think the ability to do one-word processing, that’s been really key. And, that’s going to become even more important.  

I used to remember debates on how much power is generated from solar arrays, you know, whether satellites are fuelled one way versus electric propulsion, but just shrinking their size because different technologies, and footprints have got smaller or highly capable. And those are some of the things that I think, you know, we have to watch closely.  

And laser comm has been around for a couple of decades. I mean, I was on the periphery of all things laser comm in the early years of constellation, remember when 900 was a big number? And now clearly it’s not!  

I think just being able to do more, with less from a side standpoint on satellites, etc, has been critical.  

How do you see the current state of the new space market? 

I’m super excited about it. I think, you know, we’re getting beyond paper pitches. I don’t know if you guys have done the whole Silicon Valley VC route or you know, the UK fundraising or in mainland Europe.  

There’s a lot of it picking up the whole new space scene. But, I’ve witnessed paper projects that were able to raise eight to 10 million on a pitch deck of 10 slides! I’ve also seen some real nuggets of technologies and companies that have come through all of that because the fundamentals were correct.  

Whether it’s new launches, new satellite builders, or a San Fran startup – it’s exciting. And then, looking forward into the future, Earth observation is also interesting. 

Are there any particular technology nuggets that are having a really significant impact that you see across sac comms and connectivity? 

Funnily enough, I think laser comm! But no, honestly, I think when you look at the capex involved in really standing up some of these constellations, you need all these ground stations, or you need so many satellites. You’re collecting all this amazing imagery, what better way to interconnect these satellites by moving data between them.  

And then you know, moving it down through an optical channel in a very secure way, and in large bandwidth. So, I think the promise of laser comm is now I like to say and, you know, we’ve tinkered around with it, we’ve proven out the use cases, it works. And now it’s about –  how can you build the products, scale them and make them affordable? That’s what we’re doing. 

To listen to the full episode, click here

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Evolution of the live production space 

In episode #74 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Serge Van Herck, CEO at EVS

He has been a very visible figure in the media and communications world for over 20 years working as head of satellite service, sitting on boards, as well as holding C-Suite positions throughout his career. In 2019, he became CEO of EBS during one of the most rapidly evolving periods of live video production. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

The live production space has been right at the centre of disruptions over the years with the pandemic, how have you seen the live production space evolve and adapt during that time? 

Well, it has dramatically evolved. And we already had some trends before on the evolution from SDI to IP, but more importantly, the evolution to remote production.  

Due to this pandemic, remote production has really accelerated a lot. I think we were lucky to launch in 2020 – I would say this was by coincidence. Being able  to have newer technology enabled us this evolution, which has accelerated our business and helped customers to adapt to a new reality. 

What products in particular and solutions that you’ve seen today really excite you? 

I think a lot of people are talking about the plants. In my opinion, the plant is just computers, which are not in your facility but elsewhere. But in my perspective, one of the most incredible technologies we are working heavily on is artificial intelligence. 

It’s amazing what you can do with it. And, if everywhere you look, you can use artificial intelligence in one way or another. Thanks to AI, we can further improve the replays by creating virtual images between real images, something that artificial intelligence and our implementation of artificial intelligence is doing remarkably well. So, that’s a nice example of how we are implementing artificial intelligence. 

What’s your read on the industry right now? 

I think that our industry is in transformation, but it’s arguably always been like that. I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, and things are always changing.  

But for me,  it’s making sure that we create new technologies that respond to the needs of our customers. And then they can do more with less, and that they can do that in the most reliable way. However transformation is definitely there.  

What sense are you getting from your customers in regards to their investment into new technologies and solutions?  

Well, we like to say our strategy is about customer intimacy. So it’s not just developing new technologies and for just pushing the boundaries of technology. Instead, what we really try to do is to understand the real needs of our customers and respond with the right technologies, the right integration, sometimes of building blocks, to offer them a good solution that they can fully rely upon.  

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

IBC 2022

IBC 2022, saw the industry back together and relatively back to normal with over 1000 exhibitors and 37,071 people in attendance from 170 countries. And with nine of us in attendance from neuco, we were back in full force too!

After 3 years away, there was such a positive atmosphere with everyone so relieved to be meeting face-to-face in Amsterdam again. And while I was told attendance was down around 30% from 2019, it certainly felt busy and thriving on the floor to me.

There was an obvious underlying theme to the first day conversations, with everyone comparing their various travel delays – neuco being no exception! My first lesson of the show was definitely to book an earlier flight into Schiphol, although I’m not sure whether after our three and half hour’s stint in Gatwick’s Wagamama’s we will be welcome back…

Despite the travel disruption everyone was up early and ready to go on Friday, and you could feel the buzz of everyone so excited to be back at the RAI Amsterdam again. As my first trade show experience and just a month in to joining neuco, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I couldn’t have been more overwhelmed by how welcoming everyone was. I truly feel blessed to have met so many incredible individuals!

Being able to meet in person and surrounded by the latest cutting-edge tech, was not only incredible for building my industry understanding. But also proved how invaluable events like IBC are for building and maintaining those long-term relationships that are so essential for everything we do at neuco.

It was interesting to see the areas experiencing significant growth, in particular the CDN space, FAST network’s and subscription VOD were not showing any signs of slowing down. Hot topics on the floor remained focused on adoption of Cloud technology, as well as the importance of data analysis for understanding your end users and creating a more personalised service. It was great to see that accessibility was a key focus too with many discussions around how AI could be used to make tech more accessible and immersive.

As a woman joining the industry it was really welcomed to hear discussions around Diversion and Inclusion and especially what is being done to encourage continued improvements in these areas. Having just come from the Veterinary Medicine field, which is on the opposite end of the scale, it was a slight shock to the system stepping into such a male dominated field! If you are a woman in the space be sure to check out the Rise Group if you haven’t already. They are doing incredible work supporting, mentoring and advocating for women joining the media technology sector.

In the recruitment world it was incredible to see how many companies were growing, both in terms of expanding current teams and breaking into new markets. Not just is this great for us at neuco, with so many potential opportunities discussed, but also is such a promising sign that the industry is recovering from the challenges of the last few years. If nothing else, it was evident how highly in demand engineering talent is!

And beyond the business it was just incredible to be out in Amsterdam, we really made the most of our evenings socialising with our amazing partners at Ovyo and eating some delicious food. Plus, Tim couldn’t have been more excited to show us newbies the extensive cycling infrastructure…

In summary, I couldn’t have asked for a more jam-packed and exciting first trade-show experience. There really is nothing that can beat face-to-face interactions and I can’t wait for next year where I should have even more familiar faces to see.

World Satellite Business Week – Day 4

Walking around the Westin this morning there were a lot of bleary eyes after the incredible Gala Dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Satellite Business Week event. There was delicious food, fantastic entertainment, awards and surprises aplenty, as well as some interesting shapes being thrown on the dance floor, John Clifton I’m looking at you.

Even though I am sure there were a fair few sore heads and aching feet this morning, you wouldn’t know it given the enthusiasm you could feel for the first day of the Earth Observation focused portion of the event.

After a market presentation from Euroconsult’s COO, Steve Bochinger, followed up with an interview with the Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology for Oman, Ali Amur Al-Shidhani, the day kicked off with a great session with some of the leading operators in the sector discussing their growth strategies for the future.

There were further sessions focusing on how the earth observation will be instrumental in guiding international action on climate change, how ground system as a service solution will create value for the EO sector and how cloud platforms will revolutionise the way we apply analytics and big data solutions to EO data but, unfortunately, after this it was time for the neuco team to get ready to return home.

Thanks so much to the team at Euroconsult, and especially to Emeline Bardoux, for inviting us along and for putting on what seems to be universally agreed to be the best show in the 25 years history of WSBW. Here’s to the next 25!

World Satellite Business Week – Day 3

As we reach the middle point of WSBW, smallsats and space exploration have become the topics of the day.

Smallsat manufacturers GomSpace, SSTL, Aerospacelab, Millenium Space Systems, Terran Orbital and Hemeria took to the stage to discuss everything from how current and future supply chain issues will impact their business, whether vertical integration is the path to follow, and whether having a key prime partner, such as SSTL’s relationship with Airbus or Terran’s with Lockheed, could be a key to success and longevity. 

As space exploration once again is brought to the forefront of the public’s attention with the upcoming Artemis programme and the push towards Mars, 4 key space agencies (NASA, ESA, Australia and Luxembourg) graced the stage to discuss the importance of private company participation in the future of space exploration, spoiler, not only is public-private cooperation important but fundamental to its success. It was also exciting to have confirmation from Jim Free, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration, that there will be a further Artemis 1 launch attempt on the 27th of September.

It was also great to have a rebuttal to the doom and gloom we have been hearing about investment drying up in the industry from the VC community today with Seraphim Capital, Voyager and Karista discussing the space business from their perspective. The entire panel agreed that, far from drying out, investment into the industry is still at extremely high levels, with many funding rounds still oversubscribed, albeit slower than in previous years.

Given the current geopolitical situation and recent specific attacks on European Satcom infrastructure, another hugely important conversation surrounding secure connectivity in Europe took place today with involvement from the European Commission, ESA, EUSPA and the EDA. Catherine Kavvada from the EC reminded us that, although the concept of the need for secure connectivity pre-dates the invasion of Ukraine, the war has helped shape a consensus on the way forward.

Now, we look forward to the remaining days of the event where Earth Observation gets its chance in the hot seat.

World Satellite Business Week – Day 2

While NewSpace has, of course, been a topic on the tips of most tongues this year, it’s been the traditional Satellite world that brought out the biggest crowds on day 2 of World Satellite Business Week. 

What was, quite rightly, tipped as the most anticipated talk of the event certainly didn’t disappoint! CEOs from Eutelsat, Telesat, Intelsat, SES and ViaSat took to the stage to discuss the future for global satellite operators. 

I’m not sure I can even do a summary justice given how much information was shared, however, there were certainly a number of highlights to mention. 

Eutelsat CEO, Eva Berneke, talked about the capabilities of the newly launched Konnect VHTS satellite describing it as “an asset that will address the digital divide across 60 countries of Europe and Africa”. 

SES Satellites CEO, Steve Collar, addressed the future of direct to handset solutions saying “clearly satellite access to mobile is a potential huge part of satellite going mainstream” which he sees as hugely important for the future of operators, and the industry as a whole. 

Intelsat’s new CEO, David Wajsgras, gave some positive updates on Intelsat post chapter 11 and confirmed that this is “the first time in over a decade that Intelsat has seen a growth profile” and is expected to see “growth this year compared to 2021”. 

Viasat Inc. CEO, Mark Dankberg, confirmed that Viasat 3 is still progressing well towards launch with the satellite close to being fully integrated and that the proposed Inmarsat acquisition is just waiting for regulatory approval, and they should know soon “whether it will close this calendar year or next”. 

And last, but certainly not least, Telesat CEO, Dan Goldberg, confirmed that their LEO offering, Lightspeed, will happen despite delays as “supply chain issues have impacted the delivery” of the platform and that confidence in the success of the platform is incredibly high within the business. 

It’s great to see so many developments coming from the traditional industry showing that, far from being left behind by the NewSpace industry, they’ve shown they are more than up to the challenge the future brings. Bring on day 3!

World Satellite Business Week – Paris

What a treat to be back in Paris for the World Satellite Business Week at the fabulous Westin Hotel! And even better to be invited as a media partner of EuroConsult.

This year has been a sellout event with over 1200 attendees from 50 countries, 95 sponsors and 230 speakers, making it the best attended show in it’s 25 year history.

We have already been treated to some fascinating talks on day one with a diverse range of topics from connecting the unconnected, the future of optical communications, what Comsat manufactures need to do to stay relevant and the important part that service providers still have to play in breaking down the digital divide.

One of the standout sessions of the day, especially given the recent announcement surrounding their conjoined future, was a discussion around the future of satellite connectivity by the CEOs from Eutelsat, Eva Berneke, and OneWeb, Neil Masterson. Eva described the proposed merger as “a natural step” and that “GEO and LEO will be a much stronger proposition” and Neil adding that the “market opportunity is significant” and that their technologies are “highly complimentary”. 

From a selfish perspective, it has also been great to see the issue of where the next generation of industry talent will come from, with hiring problems and a lack of talent being topics of interest across a few different panels. Chirag Parikh from the National Space Council asked the question of “How do we get more skilled people into the sector?”, a question that, given the fact it has been brought up in multiple discussions, has no easy answer it seems.

The biggest change in the broadcast and media industry 

In episode #73 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with the Srini Co-Founder and CRO of Amagi

He is a technology entrepreneur who began his career as a software engineer. Following this, he became the co-founder of Impulsesoft, a wireless audio company. And in 2008, he continued this entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Amagi. You can often find him speaking at global industry events discussing how cloud technology can help solve problems and add value.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What do you think the biggest change has been in the broadcast and media industry? 

“I feel, you know, the two fundamental things that are happening in the industry, one in the backend, one in the front end. There is this massive shift that we all know, towards streaming, towards connected TV, where people are switching to a connected TV experience.   

As part of this, obviously, we are seeing some trends of subscription potentially moving a lot more to advertising. People are getting a mix of both on demand, and then traditional cable. So, we’re seeing a lot of sub-trends, but the broad trend is that there is a movement from traditional linear to streaming. 

At the backend, the broadcasters are saying, “Hey, I don’t know what the world is going to look like five years from now”. I mean, it’s changing dramatically, I have to be prepared for that. That means having that flexible technology infrastructure to be able to react quickly to changes. This means moving to the cloud, away from traditional on prem hardware-based infrastructure.  

I think these are massive transformations that are happening right now. But again, if you ask me, we are just taking the video that has been produced the same way that been produced for the last 50 years and just distributing it on the internet!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The future for Rivada Networks and RF Technology

In episode #72 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Declan Ganley, Founder of Rivada Networks

Declan is a well-known English-born Irish entrepreneur and businessman, and it was great to sit down and pick his brains in this conversation! We unpack everything from his plans for Rivada Networks, through to D&I and attracting talent.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What does the future hold for Rivada Networks? 

We’ve done an RFP to procure our satellites. So, we’re going to have contractors build out the satellites, they get to our requirements, design, etc. And we’ll be able to talk more about that soon. But, the RFP is out there, and we’ve got great responses to it.  

We’re very excited that we will be moving to do an RFP to procure launch service at the end of this year. And, we’re adding to the team. So, we’re in Germany this week at an industry show: presenting, recruiting – we are looking to find the very best people in this industry, the best brains, the best talent in this industry, and asking them to come and join us. It’s a phenomenal project.  

You’re not just a cog in the system, you know, we want real entrepreneurs! 

What are your thoughts on RF technologies?  

RF technologies from the ground to space piece – The thing is, you want to use RF to get to your first cell site in space; and then you want to backhaul everything through space, landing it back down again onto the planet, and then backhauling it through subsea cables, terrestrial networks, etc with all the problems that they have, from a security standpoint, from a latency standpoint, etc.  

When it goes to space, we want to keep it in space until we have to land it at its endpoint destination, wherever possible. But RF is not going away. Our RF will be technology, the capabilities around it will improve. And, I think that that yes, certainly that there will be a role for optical links to space itself, I think that will happen.  

Radio’s really good. It’s got much more potential than we’ve extracted from it. Our whole philosophy is that we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of the potential of radio. The reason we haven’t got much more out of it is not that the technology can’t do more. It’s because of regulatory requirements. 

Diversity and Inclusion – how are you going to attract great people? 

I want people that work hard, and who have got a phenomenal work ethic. So, if you haven’t got a good work ethic, don’t call us! If you’re willing to work hard, and you’ve got the talent, we want to hear from you – end of story. We are already a very diverse organisation. But, to be very honest with you, it’s not that we set out to be diverse! We have just searched for people with the right skill sets and attitude.  

A big bias that doesn’t get talked about as much is age, that someone is “very old” – however, we want people on our board who have that experience, otherwise what’s the point? If they haven’t been through the “wars” then we will have to relearn everything.  

So wisdom, experience, all of those things really, really count. And yes, diversity is absolutely essential.  

If you’ve got the work ethic, you’ve got the talent, and you’re willing to stick your neck out and take some risks, we want to hear from you. My dad taught me about empathy about putting your putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. How would you want to be treated? How would you want a member of your family to be treated in those same circumstances? That’s something that a lot of the world has forgotten. You know, being polite, being open-minded in that regard, and treating people decently is important.  

Listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.