Doubling the population connected via satellite could generate global socio-economic benefits exceeding 250 billion USD

Brussels, Belgium, 17th September 2023 – Today at the SDG Digital event during the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Weekend at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, GSOA announced a new pledge to the Partner2Connect Digital Initiative led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for digital technologies.

On the eve of the SDG Summit, GSOA pledged its best efforts to contribute through its members to help double the number of people connected by satellite to at least 500 million globally by 2030. This could result in global socio-economic benefits of more than 250 billion US dollars and would continue fostering unprecedented innovation, from integration with terrestrial services to backhaul and direct satellite broadband on land, in the air, and at sea. All of this will positively contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

This new commitment complements eight pledges made by GSOA last year, continuing to advance bridge the digital divide, improve emergency connectivity, and support national administrations through capacity building workshops and seminars.

With the 78th United Nations General Assembly set to kick off tomorrow, the satellite industry’s commitment to advancing ITU’s strategic goals of universal and meaningful connectivity and sustainable digital transformation has never been more apparent. Satellite communications also play an increasingly important role in digital inclusion, as highlighted during the Broadband Commission’s Annual Fall Meeting, which GSOA attended as special guest.

To deliver on this promise, additional bandwidth must be made available to support existing satellite services while meeting unprecedented demand for new services. For satellites to deliver ubiquitous connectivity in an increasingly digital world, the industry must secure sufficient spectrum and develop inclusive, technology-neutral policy frameworks.

Isabelle Mauro, Director General, GSOA said “The satellite industry has recently seen unparalleled levels of innovation and growth and is constantly investing to satisfy growing demands for resilient and secure connectivity from users throughout the world. GSOA’s P2C pledge will help accelerate inclusive digital transformation across the globe while contributing to ITU’s goal of universal connectivity.”

“Satellite broadband is a potential game-changer for the unconnected and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU Secretary-General. “We welcome GSOA’s new pledge as a major step forward in connecting the 2.6 billion people that are still offline,” she added.

Read GSOA’s Paper: “Satellite for SDGs – Transforming Lives”

Explore all the Partner2Connect pledges