PARIS — The European Defence Agency (EDA) on July 6 announced that five of its member nations have agreed to pool their demand for commercial satellite communications bandwidth in hopes of securing better prices.
For the Brussels-based EDA, the agreement by Britain, France, Italy, Poland and Romania is a modest first step that nonetheless took several years to accomplish.
The European Satellite Communication Procurement Cell, as the EDA facility is known, will combine orders from program members for small amounts of commercial satellite bandwidth into larger contracts that, by their size or duration, result in a lower cost per megahertz.
In its announcement, the EDA said the program is “addressing a contested, concentrated commercial satellite communications market by pooling orders and making significant savings that improve the effectiveness of military expenditure.”
Three of the five nations joining the program — Britain, France and Italy — already have their own military satellite telecommunications capacity but, like the U.S. Defense Department, also make regular use of commercial satellites.
Two other EDA members who have their own military capacity, Germany and Spain, have not yet joined.
EDA has long argued that most European Union nations are interested in the same regions of conflict. Many send troops there as members of the same coalition. As a result, they are often interested in having communications links in the same regions.