The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says it is ushering a new era of connectivity through space and space technologies.
The UN specialised agency for ICT sees space and space applications playing a major role to play in the shaping of a future connected world.
“ITU is committed to maintaining right of access to the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite-orbit resources, and to ensuring their rational, equitable, efficient and economical use, free from harmful interference Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General told attendees at the recently concluded Global Conference on Space and the Information Society
Asserting that the coming years will see governments, industry, academia and NGOs work together in a new era of connectivity, the ITU chief says that international organisations like the United Nations and its agency, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) plan to extend cooperation in space technology to achieve a better connected world.
According to the ITU Secretary-General, a combination of factors, such as the implementation of the UN Space Development Goals, the deployment of new mega constellations and the launch of new digitized systems will strongly contribute to reaching this goal.
“Through our concerted efforts, we can help remove the obstacles that impede the development of new satellite networks and applications and bring them into operation to connect the unconnected around the world” Zhao adds.
Also speaking at the event, Francois Rancy, Director of the ITU Radio Communication Bureau adds that “activities in space contribute enormously towards shaping the information society.
“These involve the production of big data, the provision of global positioning information, the distribution of television programs, the provision of emergency services, the prevention and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters, the forecasting of weather, the understanding, monitoring and protection of Earth natural resources and the connection of the world population to broadband services”.
Noting that satellite systems play a critical role in supporting each and every one of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted last year by the United Nations, Rancy stressed that the decisions of the ITU World Radio Communication Conferences are aimed at maintaining a stable, predictable and universally applied regulatory environment that secures long-term investments for the multi-trillion dollar ICT industry including outer space activities.
“This is an exciting time in space,” Jennifer Warren, Lockheed Martin Corporation Vice President for Technology Policy & Regulation Trade & Regulatory Affairs said while delivering her keynote address.
Karsten Geier, Head, Cyber Policy Coordination Office, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, emphasized the importance of cyber security, noting that “outer-space based as well as cyberspace programs can present challenges to international security.”