GVF has served as the unified voice of the satellite industry for 25 years – What an amazing statement to be able to make. I have known GVF for almost all of that time and there has been no other organisation, during that period, with the reach, influence, or sheer tenacity to elicit change in such a fast-evolving industry.
GVF was intended to be a platform for training and advocacy, and it has indeed served that purpose over the past 25 years. Its most important contribution, however, has been its ability to marshal consensus and use the unified voice of the satellite industry in very effective ways. Our industry punches above its weight on ITU matters owing to this cohesion, and this advantage is manifested in many other ways.
My first contact with what was to become the Global VSAT Forum was being asked by Susan Bull, my partner at COMSYS, to talk to Dave Hartshorn about his possible interest in leading the nascent organisation. So we lunched at what I recall as being a slightly dodgy Sushi restaurant in San Jose, California….
For me, the past 15-plus years of working with GVF has been quite a ride. Entering the mix of sIRG (now SIG) and GVF with Carrier ID was a journey in itself. However, without our colleagues in GVF during that period, CID would not have succeeded! This, along with Jammers and Pirates (the RF kind) to WRC and Training, Radio Frequency Interference and the rapid growth in satellite technology development kept both groups busy and still does.
In connection with the 25th anniversary of GVF’s establishment as the global trade association representing the satellite ecosystem, GVF today announced the five finalists for the GVF Quarter Century of Excellence Award following a public nomination process. Satellite Business Week.
I started my career in spectrum regulation about the time that GVF was formed, 25 years ago. I have witnessed how, since its foundation, GVF has been a driving force to establish good regulations for satellite services globally, helping to establish favourable national regulations through international bodies like the ITU and promoting best practice.
Starting in 1995, Dave (‘Whirlwind’) Hartshorn and I (working out of Singapore for SSE & Prodelin, respectively) witnessed, first-hand, the “explosion” of TDMA-Voice VSAT networks here in South East Asia. 1.8m antennas (C-Band, Linear-Polarised) were being frantically installed in (then) very remote locations. The installers lacked training in the pitfalls associated with Cross-Pol, Pointing, Over-drive, and IFL cabling/connector issues.
I joined GVF when it was already four years into its mission to facilitate expanded access to satellite-based connectivity solutions. I had been working in space and satellite industry related publishing, as Managing Editor & Head of Research for ‘Space Business International’ magazine. David Hartshorn, GVF’s then Secretary General, wrote for the magazine and that was how I learned all about GVF. Some of the early focus of GVF’s mission was on licensing and regulatory related matters and my experience in this field will serve me as I travel to Iraq in May to speak in Basra.
I am proud to be actively associated with GVF. I cherish the wonderful journey with GVF over my 15-years in which we have achieved many firsts: Collaborating in the delivery of one-of-a-kind online training content; On-site training with integrated hands-on practicals as “MBC Mentored Sessions”; Advanced Satellite System Engineering classroom programmes; Capacity Building & Emergency Communications for HADR; Network Validation Assessments; and more. It continues to be an honour and a pleasure collaborating throughout the GVF ecosystem of great minds, enthusiasts, experts and dedicated colleagues. And yet, the best take for me personally, is having these colleagues as my personal friends.
GVF is and has been playing a vital rule in Unifying Satellite Industry Ecosystem, bringing together Satellite Operators, manufacturers, Technology and service providers. GVF since its establishment back in 1997, has made remarkable achievement as a platform to promote Satellite communications around the globe. I have been a member of GVF board since 2014 and I am delighted to contribute to the advancement of such a global organization with roust presence.