5G/6G Hub’s metaverse to connect industry and academia online and at Mobile World Congress

Metaverse screenshot during Mobile World Congress 2023

In an effort to showcase the European Space Agency's (ESA) work in the integration of satellite and terrestrial communications, engineers of the Space for 5G/6G programme line will create a virtual environment based on the GSMA Pavilion at Mobile World Congress (MWC), held in Barcelona, Spain.

From 26 February at 11:00 CET, the 5G/6G Hub’s metaverse will allow attendees of the world’s most influential exhibition of the connectivity industry to explore ESA’s world of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) technologies, take a virtual tour of the Hub at ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, United Kingdom, follow MWC Barcelona in images, a livestream and videos, and engage in a surprise virtual reality experience.

The metaverse experience will be available to attendees and remote users, and can be accessed through smartphones, tablets and computers in addition to virtual reality headsets. Participants of MWC Barcelona will be able to take part by scanning a QR code at the GSMA Pavilion, where the event will be held, while a link has been made available for industry, academia and the general public wherever they are in the world.

The demonstration aims to connect everyone, everywhere, by making use of the 5G/6G Hub’s private terrestrial carrier-grade 5G network and the constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites from OneWeb, showcasing the integration of Terrestrial Networks (TN) and NTNs. 

“ESA is looking forward to participating at MWC Barcelona and we are proud to partner with the GSMA on a variety of impactful initiatives in our commitment to advance connectivity solutions, through the integration of TN-NTN,” said Antonio Franchi, Head of the 5G/6G NTN Programme Office, and of the Space for 5G/6G programme line. “Our interactive metaverse experience will showcase some of the work we do at ESA, and we are excited to reveal these from the GSMA Pavilion.”

This isn’t the first time that engineers of the 5G/6G Hub have immersed industry and academia in the metaverse. The space-inspired virtual environment was showcased at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, MWC in 2023, and at the ESA-Italian Space Agency Space2Connect Conference in Matera, Italy, in June 2023.

The showcase forms part of the Space for 5G/6G programme’s presence at MWC Barcelona, which will include the unveiling of a series of initiatives where ESA and the GSMA have partnered to help revolutionise the mobile and satellite communications industries – including funding opportunities.

The Space for 5G/6G strategic programme line is part of ESA's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 4.0 and demonstrates the essential nature of satellites for 5G and 6G. The programme works with industry to set the standards and frameworks for hybrid and downstream interoperability.

For funding opportunities with ESA and the Space for 5G/6G programme, please visit the esa-star Publication System.

Published 26 February 2024
Last updated at 05 March 2024 - 15:45