Webinar – Congestion in Space: Addressing the Limited Availability of Orbital Slots and Space Spectrum

The growing demand for satellites and space activities has contributed to an ever-increasing scramble to obtain rights to the orbital slots and spectrum needed to engage in these activities. Moreover, in today’s highly evolving technological landscape, some suggest that there is a tension between allocating orbital slots and space spectrum to its most efficient use, while also preserving the property rights of incumbent users who have made significant investments based on pre-existing rights.

Increasingly, space companies and operators are having to deal with the complex regulatory issues arising out of this newfound demand. That is not all:  increasingly, also, companies and States alike are finding themselves litigating disputes surrounding rights to spectrum and orbital slots for space activities.

Volterra Fietta’s second space law webinar addressed this complicated and interesting issue of law and policy. The distinguished panel of speakers were:


Mr Yvon Henri, an elected member of the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Mr Henri has thirty-five years’ of experience in satellite communications and has worked extensively on space policy and regulatory affairs in both the public and private sectors, including at international organisations. This includes working for France Telecom (Paris), INTELSAT (Washington, D.C) and OneWeb (London). Until June 2017, Mr Henri was also the Chief of the Space Services Department (SSD) of the ITU in Geneva. Mr. Henri was then elected as a member of the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) at the last ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai (29 October – 16 November 2018) for the period 2019-2022.  Throughout his professional career, Mr Henri has always strived to initiate, develop and promote policies to enhance the opportunities afforded by the telecommunication/ICT sector to connect people, in particular for the global harmonization of space and terrestrial applications, with particular focus on the adaptation of space services to the constantly evolving world.


Ms Ruvimbo Samanga, Space Law and Policy Analyst.  Ms Samanga is a Consultant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Freelance), a Ban Ki-Moon Global Citizen Scholar and was a Research Fellow at the Open Lunar Foundation.  She has been recognised in the Top 10 Under 30 African Space Industry by Space in Africa.  Ms Samanga has particular knowledge in issues arising out of the allocation of orbital slots and spectrum for developing nations.


Gunjan Sharma, Associate at Volterra Fietta. Mr Sharma has represented States before the International Court of Justice, represented investors and States in investor-State arbitrations and been counsel to clients before numerous US courts.  This has included representing clients in nine-figure disputes involving claims arising out of the alleged denial of space spectrum and interference with space transmissions.  In addition to his significant litigation experience, Mr Sharma routinely advises companies on complex issues of international law and investment risk. Mr Sharma has also advised clients on dispute resolution, indemnification clauses, stabilisation clauses, investment risk mitigation and sovereign immunity issues in over 300 commercial transactions.


The panel was moderated by Volterra Fietta associate Florentine Vos.


For any queries regarding the content of the webinar, please email