Advanced Television

EC creates New Symphonie broadband consortium

September 28, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The European Commission (EC) is bringing together a consortium of more than 20 European space sector businesses to collect and create ideas for what the EC describes as “an innovative European broadband constellation”.

The grouping is headed by Unseenlabs and Euroconsult and the 22-member grouping has responded to an EC call for “New Space solutions for long-term availability of reliable, secure, cost-effective space based connectivity”.

“The New Symphonie boasts an extensive European footprint with 22 members from no less than 8 different countries, bringing a multi-national approach to its European core. The grouping has ‘new space’ at its heart, with the majority of members representing agile, responsive and commercially minded small and medium sized businesses. Coordinated by Unseenlabs the European leader in satellite-based radio-frequency detection services, currently operating a constellation of four satellites in orbit (twenty-five projected for 2025) processing and delivering geolocation and monitoring data as-a-service to clients worldwide, in partnership with Euroconsult, the consulting and market intelligence firm, specializing in the space sector and satellite enabled verticals,” says the EC announcement.

In her State of the Union address of 2020, European Commission President von der Leyen stressed the importance of secure connectivity. With the EU economy and society undergoing a continuous digital transformation and both geopolitical and cybersecurity threats on the rise, the need for secure and resilient global connectivity has never been greater. The Commission’s tender aims to identify and assess new disruptive ideas for moving from [Luxembourg-based] GoSsatcom to a secure space connectivity system and tap into the exciting potential of the commercial space ecosystem, in order to define an innovative EU Space-based Global Secure Connectivity System that can deliver communication services for governmental and non-governmental users. The procurement will award up to two contracts of six months duration, each with a maximum value of €1.4 million, with award criteria assessing the degree of innovation and inclusion of leading-edge technologies, as well as aspects such technical quality and originality of response.

Pacôme Revillon, Euroconsult Group’s CEO added, “Each member of New Symphonie is a recognized leader in its business field, and as a whole the consortium is greater than the sum of its members, ready to contribute to a more sovereign and autonomous EU, as well as provide socio-economic benefits to its 450 million citizens.”

The consortium name is derived from Symphonie, which was the first operational communication satellite launched in 1974 as a part of a Franco-German agreement. Symphonie was a forerunner for the subsequent French and German national communication satellite programs that altogether permitted the European geostationary satellite industry to evolve into a sovereign industry. Almost 50 years later, New Symphonie have responded to the European Commission call to propose an ambitious system of multi-orbit satellite systems to provide reliable, secure and cost-effective connectivity solutions to European governments and commercial entities globally.

The full list of New Symphonie collaborators represents a large, pan-European mix of organisations; Aerospacelab, Anywaves, Avio, Cailabs, DE-CIX, Exolaunch, Exotrail, Fresnel Alliance, Gomspace, Greenerwave, Integrasys, KSAT, Loft Orbital, Qest Antenna Technology, Satconsult, Secure-Ic, Sener, Sitael, Tesat and Transatel

The tender outcome is set to be announced within the last quarter of 2021.

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