Working Groups

Regulatory Working Group (RWG)

Open only to GVF members, the RWG has for 20 years focused on dialogue with government policy and regulatory administrations, and with inter-governmental organizations, to improve the regulatory and market access conditions that facilitate a cost-effective operating environment for affordable satellite-based services. The Group works to develop consensus-based satellite regulatory guidance for governments, liaising directly with national administrations to facilitate the implementation of effective licensing, landing rights, fees, and other elements of regulatory conditions applied to the industry and its customers. The RWG brings together a non-partisan group of legal and regulatory experts from across the globe with members able to share the collective knowledge and expertise of GVF’s global network of satellite industry contacts to keep abreast of emerging regulatory trends and developments in satellite policy.

Increasing demand for spectrum requires proactive technical and strategic leadership from the satellite industry, and the RWG has led, and partnered with, numerous regional associations and governing bodies regarding the continuing need for viable access to spectrum for satellite services. The RWG coordinates inputs into upcoming industry events and members are frequently invited as speakers and panellists to provide expert analysis, providing presentations, whitepapers, and regulatory comments to help educate regulators, and shape favourable satellite policy decisions.

The RWG continues to leverage its global experience with satellite regulation to provide guidance to regulators on best practices for fair, transparent, and efficient satellite licensing policies, taking every opportunity to urge regulators to adopt streamlined licensing requirements, fair fees, and blanket licensing or registration wherever possible, and continuing its advocacy for a global “Open Skies” policy.

In the preparatory period leading to the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) the RWG is the GVF interface within the Global Satellite Coalition. Contact:

GVF Americas Working Group

Open only to GVF members, the GVF Americas Working Group focuses its efforts on regulatory developments affecting one or more countries in the Americas region. Comprised of regulatory experts from Member companies doing business in the Americas, the GVF Americas Working Group is a forum for sharing information on regulatory developments within the Americas region, developing common positions on behalf of GVF members, and drafting GVF submissions to regulatory bodies within the Americas region.  Contact:

Mutual Recognition Arrangement Working Group (MRA-WG)

A long-term core feature of GVF’s various initiatives has been the development of a consensus-based framework to improve the efficiency of satellite operators’ terminals type-approval procedures.

The Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) was established through the MRA Working Group. Using this framework, once a type approval is provided to a manufacturer by any one of the participating satellite operators, other operators may mutually recognise the results of the tests conducted during the first operator’s type-approval process, so that the tests aren’t repeated unnecessarily.

To achieve this objective, the MRA-WG created the procedure GVF-101, which defines a set of standard tests that an antenna or earth station manufacturer should perform in order to apply for type approval from any satellite operator. Use of this procedure not only improves the quality and completeness of test data but helps reduce the time and cost required to bring new ground-segment technology to the market, thus advancing the competitiveness of satellite communications. The MRA has developed “living documents” which are reviewed for necessary updates and modifications to accommodate advances in technology. It also serves as the foundation for a growing number of specialised technical documents pertaining to selected earth station types. The following are “living” documents and all GVF Members are welcome to participate in the drafting and re-drafting process. To access the documents please click on the links below. For more information on how to participate, please contact the MRA Working Group Chair, Colin Robinson.

Mutual Recognition of Performance Measurement Guidelines and Procedures for Satellite System Operator Type Approvals

Duties of Authorized Test Entities under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement procedure

Performance and Test Guidelines for Type Approval of Auto-Deploy and VMES Satellite Communications Terminals

Performance and Test Guidelines for Type Approval of ‘Comms on the Move’ Mobile Satellite

Application for GVF Type Approval

The MRA-WG & the European Space Agency (ESA)

GVF, in partnership with GVF member Fraunhofer IIS, successfully concluded a joint project – Standards Preparation for Satcom on the Move Terminals – under the ESA ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunicatons Systems) programme, with the work of the MRA-WG being central to the success of the project, the final report of which received ESA approval in January 2017. The foundation to this joint project – i.e., developing an appropriate test methodology for qualifying COTM terminals – was the terminal performance and test guidelines set-out in document GVF-105.

Earth Station Type Approval

Getting Equipment Tested: Manufacturers interested in having satellite earth station products evaluated may directly approach any one or all of the satellite operators. In cases where testing is carried out in conjunction with more than one satellite operator, the GVF MRA can be applied to eliminate redundancy of testing.

As a complementary service, GVF may also be able to conduct testing and/or evaluation of earth station products. This GVF service is conducted to ascertain product compliance with any industry-recognised specifications. To read about the Type Approval process, and what information is necessary, please read GVF 107 “Application for GVF Type Approval”.
To learn more about engagement with the GVF Product Quality Assurance Programme, contact GVF MRA-WG.

SOMAP – Satellite Operator’s Minimum Antenna Performance

GVF and a group consisting of premier operators of communication satellite networks – AsiaSat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES – have collaborated to produce updated guidance to antenna manufacturers regarding the satellite operators’ expectations for new antenna products and how to demonstrate compliance with the Satellite Operator Minimum Performance Specifications (SOMAP) .

The SOMAP requirements and initiative have been undertaken to improve the Quality of Service (QoS) worldwide for the industry and to minimize interference. The availability of quality products, which have demonstrated compliance with satellite operator specifications, will provide manufacturers with a valuable sales tool to differentiate their products. The SOMAP satellite operator group has the final authority for resolving questions regarding the compliance of a particular product.

The SOMAP framework consists:

  1. Minimum Antenna Testing Requirements
  2. Minimum Antenna Performance Requirements
  3. Performance Data on Manufacturer Product Datasheets

The SOMAP objective is to offer consistency across the industry for customers and antenna manufacturers. It does not replace the formal type approval procedures for each of the operators, but rather establishes minimum performance that each of the operators expect when deploying equipment which has not been formally type approved.


SOMAP Matrix C-Band 2019

SOMAP Matrix Ku-Band 2019

SOMAP Matrix Ka-Band 2019

SOMAP – Antenna Datasheet Contents

SOMAP – Radomes

SOMAP – COTM Interference

GVF Working Group on Sustainable Space Operations

The GVF Working Group on sustainable space operations was established in 2017 out of a concern about the ability to preserve a safe space environment for future exploration and innovation and the need to limit the creation of new space debris, maximize the information available on both debris and spacecraft, and encourage the development of and adherence to community-wide best practices for all space industry stakeholders. The Working Group is comprised of space industry stakeholders and is focused on developing the space industry’s best practices for sustainability of space operations. Through this Working Group, companies and non-profits share ideas and develop best practices as a valuable advancement towards the sustainability of space operations.

GVF Regulatory Positions

Please refer to Position Papers.

Global Satellite Coalition (GSC)

The world’s leading satellite industry associations have established the GSC, an international group of satellite associations which are collaborating to drive industry priorities with one voice, targeting initiatives coordinated and implemented with the combined support of hundreds of member companies based in every world region, and unlocking opportunities for industry growth and ensuring future access to satellite-based solutions for millions of stakeholders who depend on satellite-based solutions. The GSC’s priority is to advocate the role of satellite in achieving complete connectivity from contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Broadband Commission’s connectivity objectives to realising the Network of Networks required for 5G. In addition, it will work on ensuring satellite services are an essential element of national broadband strategies, universal service programmes and disaster preparedness efforts. The GSC Partners are:

  • ABRASAT (Brazil) – Associação Brasileira das Empresas de Telecomunicações por Satélites
  • APSCC (Asia-Pacific) – Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council
  • AVIA (Asia Pacific) – Asia Video Industry Association (formerly CASBAA)
  • Communications Alliance – The Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia
  • ESOA (Europe, Middle East, Africa, CIS) – EMEA Satellite Operators Association
  • SIA (USA) – The Satellite Industry Association
  • GVF (Worldwide)

Joint Statement On The Satellite Industry’s Commitment To Cybersecurity

The commitment of GVF and its members to cybersecurity is exemplified by the issuance of statement issued by GVF on behalf of its members along with the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) and the EMEA Satellite Operators Associations (ESOA).