ESA partners with space industry on ‘Satellite for 5G’

The ESA (European Space Agency) has joined forces with 16 space companies on a new ‘Satellite for 5G’ initiative.

Satellite for 5G aims to offer truly global high-speed coverage even in areas difficult to reach by cell towers such as up mountains and remote islands. To preserve bandwidth, cell towers will remain the first point of access for most but satellites could be used to reach the emergency services wherever you are on Earth.

“5G provides a major opportunity for our space industry, for space and satellites to become integral parts of the future generation of communications networks and services,” comments Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. “The joint statement demonstrates that our key industrial stakeholders are ready to join forces in response to this industrial ambition. ESA is going to define a framework supporting industrial action and further strengthening and coordinating institutional support in Europe and in particular with the EC.”

As part of the initiative, between 2018–20 and beyond the ESA and space industry partners will work together on:

  • 5G service trials, including satellite capabilities, with a focus on selected sectors targeted by 5G, so called ‘Verticals’, such as transport, media and entertainment, and public safety;

  • transversal activities in the areas of applications development, standardisation, resource management aspects, interoperability demonstration campaigns, and supporting technologies;

  • outreach activities.

The partners signed the agreement during the international Paris Air and Space Show and build upon existing initiatives of the European Commission on 5G. Further details remain sparse, but we expect we'll be hearing more about the project at the ‘Space and Satcom for 5G: European Transport and Connected Mobility’ conference on June 27th to 28th.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated with any relevant developments.

What are your thoughts about the Satellite for 5G initiative? Let us know in the comments.

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