SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law

In 2010, the University of Luxembourg and the global satellite operator SES S.A. entered into a partnership with the aim of jointly developing Luxembourg as a European centre of excellence and innovation for advanced Information Communications Technology in satellite systems. Since then the University of Luxembourg and SES collaborate on research in:

  • satellite applications and services;
  • satellite hybrid networks;
  • transmission and reception technologies.

A key component of this partnership was the creation of the first Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law in 2010?11?, with a research focus on the legal and regulatory challenges in satellite communications. The SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law, commonly called SES chair, is an academic member of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg. In September 2011, Professor Mahulena Hofmann was appointed as the SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law.

In addition to the research undertaken in these fields, the SES Chair contributes to existing media law research by including space law and global telecommunications issues. In addition, Professor Hofmann contributes to the interdisciplinary research at the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT).

Academic programmes

Starting in the winter semester of 2011, the SES Chair launched a series of classes in the Master programme in European Law focusing on the legal framework of International Space and Telecommunications. The course was concluded with a student seminar “Building a Satellite: Legal Issues” which took place in the SES premises in Betzdorf, Luxembourg.

The 2012 summer semester was devoted to the European Space and Communications Law, with an emphasis on the European Space Agency (ESA), the Galileo programme, as well as the complex European Union legislation and jurisprudence on European communications.


2nd Luxembourg Workshop on Satellite Communication, May 2013 - Workshop


The SES Chair co-organised the 2nd Luxembourg Workshop on Satellite Communication entitled “Satellite Communication and Dispute Resolution” with the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law and received support from the Fonds National de la Recherche, Luxembourg (FNR) and the SnT. The 2-day international event aimed at answering the following questions:

  • What happens if two States dispute the right to use specific radio frequencies?
  • What happens if one of them starts jamming the TV transmission of the other?
  • What happens if a State does not implement timely and properly a European Union Directive dealing with frequency management?
  • Which rules will be applied if a satellite operator has a dispute with another one about the use of a frequency band?

The SES Chair will soon publish a book compiling the findings of this workshop.

International Regulations of Space Communications: Current Issues, May 2012 - Workshop


The SES Chair organised the first multidisciplinary workshop “International Regulations of Space communications: Current Issues” which was attended by prominent academics and experts including representatives from SES, ITU ?, ESA, the International Institute of Space Law and several institutions of Luxembourg. The workshop was supported by the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, the SnT, and the FNR.

Professor Hofmann published a book entitled “International Regulations of Space Communications: Current issues” in April 2013. It compiles the contributions of this workshop, following the angle from which the legal framework of space communications was examined: international, European and national.


In 2012, the SES Chair Professor Mahulena Hofmann was elected to the Board of the International Institute of Space Law and appointed to the Permanent Court of Arbitration for disputes relating to outer space activities.

About SES

SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) wholly owns the market-leading satellite operators SES ASTRA, SES WORLD SKIES and SES SIRIUS in Europe, and participations in Ciel in Canada, QuetzSat in Mexico as well as a participation in satellite infrastructure start-up O3b Networks. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a global fleet of 41 satellites in 26 orbital locations.