30 June 2017. ESPI and ESA jointly organized In Brussels the conference “Space and SATCOM for 5G - European Transport and Connected Mobility” on 27-28 June 2017. The Conference was very well attended by distinguished representatives from the European Parliament, European Commission (DG-CONNECT, DG-MOVE and DG-GROW), Space Agencies, industry and operators and by representatives of the transport sector at large.ESA was represented by a wide delegation led by TIA Director, Magali Vaissiere, and the Head of the Programme Officer, Hermann Ludwig Moeller, while ESPI was represented by its Director, Jean-Jacques Tortora, and Resident Fellow, Stefano Ferretti.
The various speakers shared a sense of urgency for a coordinated action with the EC on H2020 that would encompass activities that goes beyond the current programmes at ESA, including the development of new integrated applications.
Political actors encouraged to develop solutions transparent to the users, enabling ubiquitous connectivity to all citizens. Policy aspects were debated underlining the advantages of satellites and the need that these are well understood by all stakeholders, to avoid that European policies are not too fiber-centric, in particular the ones being developed for the Digital Single Market.
The European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems was described as a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility. Several aspects of the transport vertical were discussed, covering future road transport, 5G railways connectivity, future smart cities and connected mobility. Both the transport associations of users and automotive parts manufacturers presented their views on potential ways forward as well as joint partnerships with the space stakeholders.
ESA presented the current available programmatic framework, identifying the key aspects of such a toolbox, and proposing a coherent way forward, to be detailed in a sound programme proposal to be soon presented to Member States. Fruitful interactions among the participants focused on areas where satellite communications and other space applications provide strong value-add and complementarity to terrestrial 5G solutions.
As recalled by ESA Director, Magali Vaissiere, in her closing statement, the Director General of the European Commission DG-CONNECT, encouraged the attendees that this is a good story that we need to write all together.