Europe ready to unveil sovereign broadband constellation plan that will also include quantum encryption
(SpaceNews) The European Commission will unveil the architecture for its proposed satellite broadband constellation “in a few weeks,” the European Union commissioner in charge of space policy said Jan. 25.
Thierry Breton told the 14th European Space Conference in Brussels that he will also present a legislative proposal for the project in the coming weeks, which would enable Europe to start searching for partners to create the sovereign multi-orbit network.
Breton said the network aims to “provide high-speed internet access for all Europeans” but will “also provide Africa with the necessary connectivity, offering a European alternative” to other satellite networks.
Europe’s multi-orbit constellation plans will also leverage quantum encryption to secure the network.
“The other regions of the world are initiating it; Europe cannot lag behind on this technological dimension, which will condition the cybersecurity of tomorrow,” Breton said.
Europe awarded an Airbus-led group a 15-month contract in May 2021 to study a quantum technology-powered network for Europe called EuroQCI.
Airbus is also part of the industry consortium of European satellite makers, operators, service and launch providers that has been helping devise space-based connectivity infrastructure for the E.U. The other members are Arianespace, Eutelsat, Hispasat, OHB, Orange, SES, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space.