The first ESA ground station of the “wideband space network” will be built in Greece

The final selection will be made between two Greek observatories, the “Aristarchus” in Helmos and the Kryoneri Observatory in Kyllini

Τhe European Space Agency (ESA) informed the Hellenic General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Posts of the Ministry of Digital Government that the first ground station of the European program for the next generation of telecommunications services (“fibre in the sky”) will be built in Greece.

The final selection will be made by ESA between two Greek observatories: the “Aristarchus” in Helmos and the Kryoneri Observatory in Kyllini, Corinth. “Fibre in the sky” includes high-speed data transmission using satellites.

With the completion of the relevant upgrade works, the station will be a key element in the new generation of European networks. These networks combine terrestrial infrastructure with satellite networks to provide telecommunications services at speeds in excess of 1 Gbps to government agencies, citizens and businesses.

New communications technologies between satellites and ground stations are replacing radio waves with laser systems and are more commonly known as “fibre in the sky”. They also pave the way for the provision of modern, quality and reliable telecommunications services in remote areas. At the same time, combined with terrestrial infrastructure such as fiber optic networks and planned 5G mobile communication networks, they create a complete environment for seamless data transmission even in extreme conditions.

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The construction of the ground station in Greece creates new opportunities for the country’s scientific potential, while it is estimated that it may attract investment interest from both Greek and foreign companies operating in the field of telecommunications.

According to the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance, the selection of the two Greek observatories follows the goals set by Greece for its participation in ESA programs in the fields of 5G telecommunications services and Earth Observation. The specific strategy was developed during the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial level (Space19 +) in November 2019. In December of the same year, the Minister of Digital Government, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, signed the Euro QCI Declaration on Quantum Communication Infrastructure with which Greece became a member of the group of European countries actively participating in the new generation security for advanced telecommunications services.