In the satcom sector, continuous commercial success cannot be maintained without a permanent push for innovation. The TIA ARTES programme has been the mainstay of the telecommunications R&D effort of European industry. In the present situation, this support is needed more than ever before. ESA has contributed to the development of on-board processors, such as those of that are flying on Inmarsat IV, Skyplex and AmerHis. ESA has also contributed to the development of new flexible payload technology which is at the heart of the HYLAS system and will be of interest to any future operator that has to confront varying traffic patterns over a coverage area.

ESA has also provided support to the ground and user segment industry by favouring the development of open standards such as the DVB family of standards that provide the user with competitive and alternative suppliers. ESA has also supported mobile terminal development for the BGAN services of Inmarsat. In addition, it is important to report the excellent results that have followed the successful recovery of Artemis, allowing the regular utilisation of its four payloads.

It was on ESA's initiative that one of the first major European satellite telecommunications operators, Eutelsat, was founded. Furthermore, ESA's pioneering initiative has consolidated the technological capabilities of both prime and subcontractors, leading to European Industry capturing 40% of the global market for telecommunications satellites. ESA has also been instrumental in the positioning of industry with respect to advanced mobile satellite systems, i.e. Marecs, EMS and Inmarsat-IV.

The support provided by ESA in the field of space telecommunications is the most important institutional source of funding for orienting and supporting European capacities. Through the co-funding mechanism in the ARTES 3-4 element, a large part of R&D industrial funding is associated with ESA activities.