Space for 5G/6G partners with GSMA for funding opportunities and launch of connectivity initiatives

Attendees outside the venue for Mobile World Congress

Two new funding opportunities in a partnership between the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space for 5G/6G programme line and the GSMA Foundry have been unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The opportunities offer industry and academia the chance to submit ideas to leverage the transformative potential of seamless Terrestrial Networks (TN) and Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN), as well as to revolutionise the mobility market.

The NTN Open Gateway Challenge’s goal is to lay the foundations for more inclusive, efficient and eco-friendly connectivity. In the need to propel industry forward by addressing critical aspects of network integration, vertical services and sustainability, the open call invites tenderers to explore the possibility and implementation of CAMARA. Spearheading the need for market-orientated experimentation, the challenge also addresses the development of new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and algorithms – and to utilise TN and NTN capabilities.

Meanwhile, 5G Mobility Makerspace aims to answer the pressing demand for solutions, regulations and guidelines in shaping the future of vehicle connectivity. Interested companies have been encouraged to focus on three key areas: smart antenna development, the validation of 5G interfaces using real life equipment and cross-sector applicability, where technology for NTN can be applied to broader applications across various transport sectors.

Submissions of interest for NTN Open Gateway are due by 31 April 2024, while interactions for Mobility Makerspace have been given a deadline of 31 March 2024. Entries for both opportunities are being accepted through the GSMA Foundry's form.

“We are excited to partner with GSMA on these important endeavours in the development of seamless connectivity, between TN and NTNs,” said Antonio Franchi, Head of the NTN Programme Office, of the Space for 5G/6G programme line. “There is a pressing demand for solutions and, together with GSMA, we are looking forward to reviewing and developing ideas with industry.”

The Space for 5G/6G programme forms part of the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications. Sitting within ESA's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 4.0 as a strategic programme line, it is responsible for demonstrating the essential nature of satellites for 5G and 6G, working with partners to set the standard and frameworks for hybrid and downstream interoperability. 

MWC Barcelona is the world’s most influential exhibition for the connectivity sector. Offering the opportunity for tens of thousands of industry decision makers to network and learn of groundbreaking insights, ESA and GSMA have also unveiled a series of initiatives to revolutionise mobile and satellite communications: the TN-NTN Community, an initiative that will foster an environment for industry to join forces, establish a roadmap for future activities and submit proposals; a labs network that opens up access to the 5G/6G Hubs at ESA's European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT), Harwell and European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), The Netherlands; the Satellite and NTN Summit, which will take place on 28 February and the launch of a TN-NTN course.

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 26 February 2024 - 17:14