EMSA participates in EU secure governmental satellite communications

Growing demand for reliable and secure governmental communication Effectively functioning public administration requires reliable and secure communication systems. In the era of satellite communications, access to communication services for governmental stakeholders should no longer be restrained, for example by unavailability of terrestrial communication infrastructure.

Exchanging confidential information, prevention of communication jamming and disruption due to external interference, together with the need for wider accessibility and cost-effectiveness represent vital factors driving the development of secure satellite communication services. Secure SATCOM solutions need to match service demand from eligible governmental users with supply provided by EU contracts for satellite capacities and services.

In 2013, the European Council defined the Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) as one of the four capability development programmes. Implementing a user-driven approach while developing operational GOVSATCOM interface is key.

Hence, a team of 18 organisations from across the European Union has embarked on a new research undertaking. It will address pending issues related to secure GOVSATCOM user expectations, as well as institutional and market responsiveness.
International cooperation will progress within the framework of the EU-funded project under Horizon 2020 programme, entitled European Networking for satellite Telecommunication Roadmap for the governmental Users requiring Secure, inTeroperable, innovativE and standardiseD services – ENTRUSTED.

Networking secure GOVSATCOM users Members of the ENTRUSTED consortium have set-up of a Network of governmental Users (NoU) of the secure SATCOM. The NoU will be expanded, as ENTRUSTED proceeds, to associate other interested governmental and institutional users representing EU member states and EU agencies.

Due to its institutional representatives, the NoU is expected to serve as a platform enabling the exchange of information, experience and expertise in a competent, trustful and secure way. ENTRUSTED will offer the possibility to participate in dedicated training, workshops, live demonstration activities and conferences.

Paving the way forward

Identification of key governmental user needs and requirements will be conducted in parallel with the assessment of relevant secure SATCOM user technologies and future development prospects. These activities will support the indication and prioritisation of necessary actions that will fill gaps between existing secure SATCOM capabilities and governmental user requirements, taking into consideration aspects of interoperability and standardisation.

ENTRUSTED seeks to develop recommendations for the European Commission in terms of considerations that could affect user experience of secure SATCOM services. These may relate to necessary investments, user equipment and, if relevant, technological aspects important for the design of future services. Recommendations will be presented in the form of a consolidated set of institutional user requirements for secure GOVSATCOM services and a long-term Research and Innovation Roadmap and Coordination plan (RIROC). ENTRUSTED will provide guidelines for user-related activities and pave the way for the future EU GOVSATCOM programme.

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