The Space Applications Institute, part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, has published a "Satellite Communications Survey". The study presents an overview of the existing satellite communications systems, both fixed and mobile. This overview includes both present and next generation technologies. The survey continues by looking at the role satellite communications play in the global communications market, the European regulatory framework, and key issues in the domain relating to technological developments and future trends. Finally, the study looks at short and medium-term wide geographical area applications of the Space Applications Institute that could be supported effectively by a satellite communications infrastructure. It also and provides conclusions and recommendations regarding the use of satellite communications by the Institute.