(ComputerWeekly) The European Commission (EC), which has selected a consortium of European satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, telco operators and launch service providers to study the design, development and launch of a European-owned, space-based communication system.
It will build on the EU’s GOVSATCOM programme of pooling and sharing satellite services, and is claimed to ensure a high level of reliability, resilience and security not currently available in the market. It will also leverage the EuroQCI initiative, which promotes quantum cryptography technology.
The EC said the study would assess the feasibility of a new initiative aiming to strengthen European digital sovereignty and provide secure connectivity for citizens, commercial enterprises and public institutions, as well as providing global coverage for rural and “not-spot” areas.
The contract value of the year-long feasibility study amounts to €7.1m and the selected participants are Airbus, Arianespace, Eutelsat, Hispasat, OHB, Orange, SES, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space.
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 said to be essential for building confidence in the digital economy and ensuring European strategic autonomy and resilience.