EU plots €6bn satellite network to boost connectivity

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Andrey Armyagov)

The European Union (EU) is planning a €6 billion satellite connectivity system that would help address ‘not spots’ and ensure the continued security of sensitive communications and intelligence.

Brussels says satellite infrastructure is increasingly important to governments, industry, and society and that its space strategy must reflect new challenges and technological developments.

The proposed system would provide additional resiliency and protection for surveillance, defence, and other activities, while also ensuring uninterrupted and cost-effective connectivity for areas with poor coverage.

EU satellite network

Satellite is viewed as a way of connecting rural area where fixed and mobile connectivity is absent due to economic or logistical reasons, with Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite networks offering significant speed and latency advantages over conventional technology.

This expansion would support digital services across the bloc and help eliminate any impediments to the EU digital single market.

Overall, the EU predicts the network would deliver €17.24 billion to the European economy, boost technological development, and create jobs in the space industry.

“Space technology is essential for our everyday life and security. Today's initiatives will ensure secure, efficient connectivity at all times,” said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. “It is benefitting both citizens and governments. It will play a key role in Europe's digital transformation. And make us more competitive. I hope that an EU approach to space traffic management and space technology will guarantee a safe and sustainable use of space in the long run.”

Separately, the EU ha also proposed a new framework for Space Traffic Management (STM), saying that a new approach is now needed because of the increasing number of satellites in orbit. 

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.