Agenda released for European Space Agency co-organised “Non-Terrestrial Networks, a Native Component of 6G" Conference

The 5G and 6G logos on a blue background

The agenda for an ETSI event co-organised with the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Space for 5G/6G programme on integrating Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) into 6G systems, has been released and will allow for industry and academia to discuss the current state of play – and future – of connectivity beyond 5G. The free conference is scheduled to take place 3-4 April 2024 on the Sophia Antipolis technology park in southeast France.

The “Non-Terrestrial Networks, a Native Component of 6G” Conference will offer attendees the unique opportunity to network with peers, while exploring use cases enabled by NTN in 6G, possible architecture frameworks, candidate technologies and approaches toward standardisation. Compared to 5G NTN, it’s expected that the integration of satellites in 6G systems will offer increased performance and services for improved connectivity on Earth.

Also supported by the European Union’s Horizon Europe 6G-NTN collaborative project and ESA’s HELENA project, and co-organised by the 6G Smart Networks and Industry Association (6G-IA) and the Smart Networks and Services and Joint Undertaking (SNS JU), the event is expected to feature dedicated project posters and offer the opportunities for academia and industry to discuss new trends and features in the field of NTN solutions.

A number of research and innovation projects will be hosted, including ESA's 5GIS, 5GEOSiS, 6GSmartSAT, TS-SDN-SMO5G GEO, 5G LEO and AICOMS, which will present innovative use cases benefiting from advanced three-dimensional NTN space networks and of which are driving the convergence of telecommunications, sensing and navigation services in 6G.

Meanwhile, special sessions will feature representatives of industrial stakeholders, terrestrial mobile network operators, satellite operators and technology providers to discuss their views on NTN standardisation approaches, and pathfinders for joint research, co-creation, co-experimentation and go-to-market concepts for NTN in 6G.   

Engineers from ESA’s Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications (CSC), Directorate of Navigation (NAV) and Directorate of Technology (TEC) form part of the agenda, with CSC’s Head of the 5G/6G NTN Programme Office, Antonio Franchi, presenting ESA’s work in collaborating with industry and academia through its Space for 5G/6G programme to integrate Terrestrial Networks (TN) and NTN. Meanwhile, low Earth orbit-Positioning, Navigation and Timing (LEO-PNT) Mission and Experimentation Engineer, Florin Grec, will explore synergies between disruptive satellite navigation systems in LEO and NTN.

Alongside officials from Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Orange, Aalyria and the Global Satellite Operator’s Association (GSOA), CSC’s Senior 5G/6G Satellite Solutions Architect Maria Guta will be moderating a session on satellite operator and vendor views of NTN-6G and TEC’s Stefano Cioni, a telecommunications systems engineer, will be chairing day two’s discussion around ESA-enabled research projects. 

“I am thrilled to be taking part in what will shape up to be a successful event and am looking forward to joining the discussion around NTN research and global standards for the future of a fully connected planet,” said Maria Guta.

Antonio Franchi added: “ESA is proud to co-organise this Conference with ETSI, and join the programme committee with SNS-JU and 6G-IA. We are keen to continue the discussion on the integration of satellites into 6G systems with industry and academia.”

ESA’s Space for 5G/6G forms part of the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 4.0 programme and demonstrates the essential nature of NTN for 5G and 6G, working with industrial and academic partners to set the standardisation actions, development and deployment roadmaps to enable natively integrated and interoperable TN-NTN in 6G.

Participants interested in attending the Conference are invited to register.

Published 13 March 2024
Last updated at 13 March 2024 - 15:34