SPACE: ESA Accelerates 5G Digital Transformation

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24/11/2021 501 views 26 likes

Space-enabled 5G technologies – which will transform connectivity and reinforce the internet of things – have come a step closer, thanks to the formation of a new partnership.

ESA has partnered with Eureka (an international organization for research and development coordination and funding) and its Celtic Next cluster, which develops next-generation communications for a new digital society. The coming era in digitalisation and connectivity, which will affect everyone and everything, is set to transform the lives of people and disrupt existing business models. Consultants predict that the 5G and its successor 6G economy will be worth up to EUR11.7 trillion by 2035 – about 5% of all global real output in that year.

Telecommunications satellites will play a crucial role in enabling the seamless and ubiquitous connectivity on which high-data-rate 5G and 6G networks rely. These satellites will enable entrepreneurs to create new products and services as well as allow existing companies to offer products or services to customers with specialized needs.

The representatives of the three organizations have signed a four year memorandum. They will work together to ensure 5G and 6G connectivity is ubiquitous through the integration space- and ground-based systems.

This will be achieved through building on synergies and co-ordinating research, development and innovation between the partners.

Elodie VIAU, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, ESA, stated: “Satellites are crucial in enabling seamless and ubiquitous connectivity to help the digital transformation. They enable new, carbon-neutral services and applications and fuel the lucrative 5G and 6-G economies. We will be exploring new 5G and 6G technologies to develop holistically integrated terrestrial and space networks. We are seeking collaborative opportunities between space and terrestrial ICT companies, and industries such as autonomous transportation for sea, land and air, as well as public safety and healthcare, to increase European strategic autonomy and add value for all stakeholders, while contributing to sustainable development goals.”

Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in the Portuguese Government, said: “We all should do an additional effort to ‘make space for Europe’ in a way to guarantee that European citizens become an integral part of future space developments in Europe.

“This means to save lives, predict natural disasters, prevent fires, control coastal areas, as well as dealing with climate change, uncertainty and risks, secure and resilient communications and satellite navigations services, together with ensuring security and safe conditions for our populations. And this can only be addressed if space initiatives in Europe move forward in alignment with the emerging opportunities of the digitalisation of our societies, together with the new forms to effectively address the challenges of green transition.”

Miguel Bello Mora, Chairman of Eureka, said: “Space activity emerges as a fundamental component that has more and more presence in the day-to-day of our lives. We cannot imagine a world where satellites are not present. They interact with us in a way that is unnoticed when we view weather forecasts, drive vehicles guided by GPS or communicate with our homes. This agreement shall support companies to develop new products and services for citizens.”

David Kennedy, Chairman of Celtic-Next, said: “For a long time we have been concerned that the space ICT dimension of the future communications scenarios has been assessed and planned as a separate service. We plan to bring together our ICT communities to increase innovation for services that fully incorporate the space ICT capabilities. This initiative will encourage the development of next-generation pervasive, end-to-end communications for different industries in an holistic manner towards a sustainable digital society that is inclusive and secure

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