The UK Space Agency has announced £50m to support 5G projects in European satellite projects.
The funding is part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Services (ARTES) programme for projects such as developing new 5G constellations, the ground systems needed to access them, or whole end-to-end systems.
The UK Space Agency highlights the opportunities for the integration of 5G satellite systems for drones or driverless haulage, creating space-based networks to rival cable-based terrestrial ones, and helping UK space operators to use disruptive new technologies and business models to enable global operations.
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“This is an exciting time to be involved in the satellite communications industry as the world increases its dependence on these services to manage business, travel, security, infrastructure, connectivity, and more,” said Dr Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency.
“This funding will help UK companies that have the right expertise and ambition to become global players in this market and lead on ground-breaking technologies that will enhance the wider UK space sector, create jobs and generate further investment.
Previous UK ARTES projects include Sunrise, supporting the delivery of OneWeb’s first generation platform and user terminals for a UK-wide supply chain, and Pioneer, working with companies including Spire Global and AAC Clydespace to develop infrastructure that will enable new service providers with low cost and quick access to space.
“Developing UK space capabilities and maximising commercial opportunities are key to the National Space Strategy, as part of our plans to become a leading power in space and build on a sector already worth £16.5 billion to the UK economy,” said George Freeman, Science Minister in the UK government.
“We are determined to invest in our world class satellite technology sector, which is why I committed £1.8 billion for UK participation in ESA programs over the next five years and recently committed £190 million specifically to participate in international telecommunications missions.”
There is guidance on applying for the funding.