It is a battle between the satellite industry and 5G. The space sector has been worried since the State of the Union speech given by the President of the European Commission two weeks ago. Ursula von der Leyen s t is mainly focused on internet access for citizens through the development of 5G and fiber.
The German official spoke of a considerable investment for 5G. But “_it should not only concern the urban elite. It should benefit the greatest number of citizens and there satellites can help _”, insists Aarti Holla, general secretary of ESOA who represents the satellite industry of communication.
About a third of the satellites deployed today are manufactured in Europe. According to statistics, in 2019 around 20% of rural households in the EU had access to a very high-speed fixed network. However, the deployment of the 5G network is slower on the Old Continent than in the rest of the world.
Develop a new space device
Member States are currently running two space programs. On the one hand, there is Galileo, the satellite navigation system, and on the other hand, Copernicus, an Earth observation mission. Although satellites were not mentioned during the State of the Union speech, the sector can count on the support of the European Commissioner in charge of the Internal Market. “Europe must quickly develop a space connectivity initiative alongside Galileo and Copernicus“, underlines Thierry Breton. This third infrastructure would put an end to white zones in the EU and give access to very high speed to more citizens.
The institutions also know that it is up to the Member States to work together if the EU wants to remain among the space powers.