Last Thursday, November 9, the Círculo Ecuestre received Jordi Hereu, president of Hispasat, protagonist of the colloquium The new frontiers of space: the role of Hispasat.
After the welcome by Enrique Lacalle, president of the Círculo Ecuestre, the speaker had a conversation with Enric Sierra, deputy director of La Vanguardia, who was in charge of moderating the event.
Jordi Hereu began his presentation by putting the attendees in context about Hispasat's work in the space and the situation in which the sector finds itself. The former mayor of Barcelona stated that “space is intimately linked to our lives and, therefore, is in a revolutionary process of enormous transformation.”
To clarify to the public the exponential growth in which the sector finds itself, Jordi Hereu noted the following: “space is an economic sector that in 2022 will mobilize 390,000 million dollars.” He also pointed out that "in less than 10 years the figure will double, making the satellite industry 75% of the world's industry."
Faced with this paradigm, the president of Hispasat explained what the company's function is: “We are the operators: we rent the launch, the construction and we operate while maintaining it in orbit. Through satellites, we provide connectivity services, providing up to 1,200 channels throughout the South American continent and in North Africa.” After saying that “Spain is in the top 5 of the best connected countries in the world,” Hereu stressed that “half of the world still does not have digital connectivity,” which is why he assured that “the fight against the digital divide can only be done from space".
Along these lines, the speaker argued that, from Hispasat, an analysis of current needs has been carried out and, after that, it is promoting projects that will guarantee the missions that humanity will carry out in the future. “Europe needs strategic autonomy, that is why the EU has promoted the large constellation of satellites, and Hispasat is there,” he said. He also spoke about the Conéctate 35 project, a solution to the digital divide in the rural world that offers the possibility of contracting a connection through the Hispasat satellite of at least 100 Mbps download at an affordable price of 35 euros per month. and about the intention to help the digital revolution throughout America.
During the colloquium, Hereu raised some of the dangers that the space economic field faces due to its frenetic growth: “The emergence of billionaires from the private sector who control every last point of the production chain” and “the use of space in current wars.” Faced with this, the president of Hispasat recognized that "space must have rules of the game so as not to be a lawless area and to avoid the collision effect of satellites when they collide with some other element." “The emergence of the private sector is a great source of innovation, but market regulation must exist because otherwise it will turn against it,” he added. “It has to be a space of cooperation, like what existed even in the Cold War, right now we would not endure a Star Wars,” he stated.
When asked by the deputy director of La Vanguardia about public-private cooperation in the space sector, Hereu said that "for the first time there is a body that sees and coordinates in the public sector and an important generation of new companies." “We have the great challenge of implementing a strategy that maximizes performance in the Spanish value chain,” he noted, later adding that “Barcelona, which has talent and a great capacity to generate companies, so it is important that it joins and Develop an aerospace strategy.”