European Space Agency taps CGI to deliver 5G tool-kit

04 February 2020 3 min. read
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Global professional services firm CGI has landed a new contract with the European Space Agency, which will see the firm work to develop a tool-kit for the organisation’s terrestrial and satellite networks. Ultimately, the work will enable telecom network operators to quickly and efficiently design and optimise 5G networks with the use of satellites.

IT services firm CGI has taken on a diverse array of client work in recent times. In the last year, the firm’s expertise has been called upon to assist with delivering a vote counting e-solution for 2020 London elections, leverage and converge different blockchain, APIs and Internet of Things for HSBC, and the teaching of IT skills in Scottish Borders communities.

Now, CGI has kicked off 2020 by picking up a new contract on the ‘final frontier’ – winning a major project from the European Space Agency (ESA). The news will see CGI work with ESA to develop a tool-kit known as Carnot-Sat for Integrated Radio Planning of heterogeneous terrestrial and satellite networks. According to a release from CGI, this Carnot-Sat infrastructure will enable the next-gen data service of 5G to be delivered more quickly, while reducing the cost of rolling out large scale and rural networks, and allowing room to introduce new hybrid services for applications, like connected cars, which leverage satellite connectivity.

European Space Agency taps CGI to deliver 5G tool-kit

Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency, commented, “The UK is a leading investor in ESA telecommunications research, and recently committed an additional £250 million to support projects led by innovative companies like CGI… Space technology is vital for the successful roll out of 5G and ubiquitous connectivity more generally. This programme will help people and communities across the whole country to access the next generation of digital services and grow the UK’s thriving space sector and the wider economy.”

CGI will now lead on the delivery of the tool-kit, including system design, development and integration, building on its heritage and experience across both the satellite communications and telecommunications domains. In order to deliver this, CGI will be utilising its state of the art 5G accelerator lab to explore and demonstrate the advantages of integrated satellite and terrestrial systems using over-the-air tests.

Speaking on the news, Shaun Stretton, Vice President of Satellite Communications and Space Data Platforms at CGI in the UK, said, “This an exciting project that brings together CGI’s Satcom Ground Systems and Telecommunications expertise. After talking to mobile network operators and other key stakeholders for 5G, it became clear that one of the initial challenges is efficiently rolling out networks, whilst there are many locations both in the UK and globally that don’t have sufficient access to terrestrial connectivity in order to support 100% 5G coverage.”