5G is expected to bring a revolution in telecommunications; and a coordinated, Pan-European approach to trials is essential if Europe is to achieve leadership in 5G technology, network deployment and penetration of 5G services in key vertical markets. Equally, SatCom systems must be integrated within this trials programme, to ensure that 5G gains from the benefits of coverage and resilience that satellite brings. Additionally, space-based data can be integrated in several 5G services according to the requirements of key verticals i.e. transport, media, public safety, media etc.
This month has seen the release of Version 2.0 of the 5G Pan-EU Trials Roadmap, which was presented at the 4th Global 5G event in Seoul.
ESA and the European Space Industry have previously signed a Joint Statement on their concerted efforts over Satellite for 5G, which have a strong focus on service trials and interoperability demonstrations.
Indeed a major goal of ESA’s Satellite for 5G Initiative is to promote integration of space systems within the 5G Pan-EU trials. For this to happen, stakeholders must come together to accelerate the integration of Satellite in 5G through relevant projects. This includes technology developments, experiments and interoperability trials / pilots, particularly those undertaken by the 5G-PPP projects (i.e. those organised with the 5G Public Private Partnership, which is a collaborative research effort within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme). ESA co-funding can be used by industry to increase the attractiveness of SatCom and space assets within in such projects, for instance by enlarging project scope or scale and boosting innovation whilst reducing risk.
The ESA Satellite for 5G Initiative will therefore incentivise collaborations with 5G-PPP projects, by providing the opportunity to extend their scope and objectives to include e.g. validation platforms, trials and pilots with vertical markets relevant for hybrid terrestrial / satellite usage.
A second objective of the Satellite for 5G Initiative is to coordinate the implementation of individual additional, and possibly complementary activities (e.g. with national or international 5G trials programmes), into areas specific to satellite technology and satellite use cases.
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