The European Union details its satellite Internet plan

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In recent years we have seen satellite internet initiatives take off, such as Starlink (SpaceX), Kuiper (Amazon) or OneWeb. Now we are going to have to add a new agent, who is none other than the European Union itselfwhat has announced his plans to create an “EU secure communication system”.

The objective, they affirm from the European Commission, is to develop a service that Allow uninterrupted and secure access to the network, as well as bringing the connection to the “communication dead zones, guaranteeing the cohesion between the Member States”. The estimated total cost of this project? €6 billionyes

Don’t call it Starlink, call it EuroLink

European Union

As detailed by the European Commission in a statement, this initiative will help “safeguard the efficiency and safety of our current assets, while developing cutting-edge European space technology and our economy.” According to the EC, space-based connectivity is a “strategic asset” for the EU resistance, which is why he is going to bet on developing his own proposal. In the words of the entity, this system:

“It will ensure the long-term availability of uninterrupted global access to secure and cost-effective satellite communication services. It will support the protection of critical infrastructure, surveillance, external actions, crisis management and critical applications for the economy, security and the defense of the Member States;

It will enable the provision of commercial services by the private sector that can enable access to advanced, reliable and fast connections to citizens and businesses across Europe, including in communication dead zones, ensuring cohesion between Member States. This is one of the objectives of the proposed Digital Decade 2030. The system will also provide connectivity in geographical areas of strategic interest, for example Africa and the Arctic, as part of the EU Global Portal strategy.”

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The European Commission estimates that the total cost will be about 6,000 million euros. The European Union’s contribution to this program will be €2.4 billion from 2022 to 2027. Funding sources include the EU budget, Member States, the ESA contribution and private sector investment, so that we are talking about a public-private initiative.

The EU estimates that 20,000 satellites will be launched in the next ten years

Although the cost is high, the EU hopes that the development of this infrastructure add an added value of between 17,000 and 24,000 million euros and additional jobs in the European space industry, in addition to “other positive spillovers” from access to satellite connectivity. This constellation, still to be defined, will complement the two current networks: Galileo and Copernicus.

Obviously, security will be one of the pillars of this system. For this reason, from the EU they want to integrate the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) to “enable the secure transmission of cryptographic keys”.

launch window

In terms of launch windows, development is scheduled for between 2023 and 2024. Between 2025 and mid-2027 the initial phase of the service will be launched and the system is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2027.

It should be remembered that the European Commission launched an initial system in December 2020 to explore the technical aspects and possible service delivery models. In December 2021, for its part, two contracts were awarded and, although it is true that the technical work is still underway, it is expected that there are results by June 2022.

In recent years we have seen satellite internet initiatives take off, such as Starlink (SpaceX), Kuiper (Amazon) or OneWeb. Now…

In recent years we have seen satellite internet initiatives take off, such as Starlink (SpaceX), Kuiper (Amazon) or OneWeb. Now…

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