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EU Starts Planning for Satellite Connectivity System for Europe 

By Rachel Jewett | December 28, 2020

Photo: SES

The European Commission has selected a group of companies in the satellite industry including Airbus, Arianespace, and SES, to study the build of a satellite-based connectivity system for the European Union, the commission announced Dec. 23. Airbus, Arianespace, Eutelsat, Hispasat, OHB, Orange, SES, Telespazio, and Thales Alenia Space will work on a year-long feasibility study on a 7.1 million euro ($8.7 million) contract. 

The study will explore a potential new flagship EU program to compliment Copernicus and Galileo that would provide secure communication services to the EU and its member states, and broadband for European citizens, companies, and mobility sectors.  It will build on the EU’s Govsatcom program of pooling and sharing satellite services and strengthen the role of satellites in the 5G ecosystem.  

“The study will look at how the space-based system could enhance and connect to current and future critical infrastructures, including terrestrial networks, strengthening EU capability to access the cloud and providing digital services in an independent and secure way, which is essential for building confidence in the digital economy and ensuring European strategic autonomy and resilience,” the release reads.