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Single licence for satellite telecommunications services

The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on the licensing of satellite telecommunications services in the Community on the basis of a mutual recognition scheme.

The current provision of satellite services is hampered by the need to obtain individual licences for,...
The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on the licensing of satellite telecommunications services in the Community on the basis of a mutual recognition scheme.

The current provision of satellite services is hampered by the need to obtain individual licences for, usually, each satellite earth station operating in a network. For extensive networks, such as that currently foreseen for one of the large car-industries, this could amount to well over 5,000 individual applications for licences.

In order to address this problem, the proposed Directive (COM(93) 652 final of 4.1.1994) sets up a legal framework under which satellite service operators, once they have obtained a licence in one Member State, may seek mutual recognition of this licence in the other Member States where the operator would wish to provide satellite services. Expected to benefit from the proposal are:

- VSAT (Very Small aperture Terminal) stations, based on business premises: networks of this kind may consist of a large number of satellite earth stations in different configurations, covering the whole of Europe or more, used for data communications, corporate voice traffic, video conferencing, the transmission of training material, etc.;

- Satellite-based, mobile data communications and fleet management systems as used, for example, by road haulage companies with long distance fleets and in the monitoring of dangerous cargo transportation;

- Satellite news gathering units (for the rapid installation of mobile transmission stations);

- Satellite-based personal communications networks and services (handheld personal satellite communications systems, predicted for the future, will require advanced licensing to assure that they can operate in all areas).

The proposed Directive foresees a scheme whereby the licences required will be reduced, ultimately, to a single licence, mutually recognized throughout all Member States, provided by any one of the national regulatory authorities.

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