ESA and the European space industry are joining forces to develop and demonstrate the added value that satellite brings in the context of 5G. As part of an ESA ‘Satellite for 5G’ initiative foreseen over 2018–20 and beyond, ESA and the European space industry 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, standardization, resource management aspects, interoperability demonstration campaigns, and supporting technologies
- Outreach activities
The next step will be for the signatories to consolidate the defining elements of the trial projects and transversal actions by the end of the year. These efforts are in line with, and will build on, the existing initiatives of the European Commission (EC) on 5G and will seek complementarity with other European, national and international initiatives. This joint statement advocates further convergence between European industry and institutions on 5G, which will also be reiterated at the ESA/European Space Policy Institute conference on ‘Space and Satcom for 5G: European Transport and Connected Mobility’, 27–28 June 2017.
The joint statement was signed by Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, and representatives from 16 satellite operators, service providers and manufacturers. The signing took place at the international Paris Air and Space Show in the presence of ESA Director General Jan Woerner. Vaissiere noted that 5G provides a major opportunity for the space industry, for space and satellites to become integral parts of the future generation of communications networks and services. The joint statement demonstrates that 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.