The Government is to invest £160 million in funding research and development of next-generation satellite communications.
The scheme aims to establish UK leadership in the next generation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication technologies such as AI and machine learning needed to support the launch of hundreds of satellites. Whitehall believes LEO satellites will be vital to offering connectivity in remote and rural areas.
The investment package would be complemented by a range of live 5G integration projects such as the 5G testing facility at ESCAT in Harwell, Oxfordshire. This aims to establish networks in remote areas and bring high-speed internet and connections to the entire UK while improving Future Telecoms, as laid out in the Government’s Science and Technology Framework.
“This proposed record investment is also potentially a huge opportunity to harness our reputation as a world leader in innovation and R&D investment, supporting leading UK businesses to deliver the next generation of satellites and positioning the UK as a true space superpower,” said Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.
Harshbir Sangha, Missions and Capabilities Delivery Director at the UK Space Agency, said “Our intent is to catalyse investment, build on existing capabilities and meet the challenges associated with seizing a significant share of a fast-moving global market, by leveraging our growing national space programme and leading investments in commercial European Space Agency programmes such as Artes.”