BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 26, 2024 -- The European Space Agency (ESA) and GSMA Foundry today announced a series of new initiatives – including up to €15 million in funding opportunities – to help the mobile and satellite industries collaborate on developing new, innovative satellite and terrestrial networks technologies.




Launched at MWC Barcelona 2024, the partnership will focus on five key areas of innovation to help telecommunications companies develop new services for society bringing together terrestrial and satellite communications. The initiatives are also designed to help open up new revenue streams previously not possible. New research by GSMA Intelligence estimates that new innovations in satellite can bring an additional $30–35 billion in income to the industry by 2035, equivalent to a boost of 2.0–2.5% to the current mobile revenue base.


The five key initiatives announced today are:


  1. GSMA Foundry and ESA jointly launch a series of challenges, starting with up to €15 million in ESA funding opportunities, to help stimulate innovation and project development.
  2. Expansion of Lab Network Access, for Foundry participants who want to collaborate at ESA's 5G/6G Hub in Harwell, UK and 5G/6G Telecom Lab in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
  3. Launch of a new GSMA Advance training course, to grow knowledge about, and support collaboration between, terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks.
  4. Launch of the Non-Terrestrial Network (TN-NTN) Community to develop new projects and plot a roadmap for future initiatives and activities.
  5. Ecosystem unification, the GSMA Foundry and ESA will work with and invite the wider industry to unify efforts towards seamless TN and NTN interworking.

Antonio Franchi, ESA's Head of the 5G/6G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) Programme Office, said: "ESA is proud to partner with the GSMA on a variety of impactful initiatives in our commitment to advance connectivity solutions, through the integration of satellite and terrestrial networks. One of ESA's aims is to connect everyone, everywhere and at any time, and this powerful collaboration with GSMA is a significant step in advancing the mobile and satellite communications industries.


Franchi added: "In addition, we are excited to be showcasing ESA's work through a variety of interactive features at the GSMA Pavilion and are looking forward to interacting with the attendees of MWC!"


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