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With a recently approved membership in ETSI, E-Space joins over 900 members in 60+ countries to help ensure alignment with industry standards for information and communications technology (ICT).

ETSI is a nonprofit organization that relies on ongoing member contributions to develop standards for ICT across the board in a variety of industries. Dr. Akl Charaf, a systems engineer at E-Space with a great deal of experience working with ETSI in previous positions, is leading E-Space’s relationship with the organization.

“ETSI has dozens of working groups and technical committees in a wide range of areas,” he explains. “Some of them, for example, are specific to mobile systems while others are related to satellites, Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing or machine learning and intelligent transportation systems. Many of these are related to what E-Space is doing and are of great interest.”

One of the biggest areas of focus is in 5G communications, and Charaf points out that 3GPP has its expertise and support team, the Mobile Competence Center, hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France. 3GPP is the global partnership focused on cellular technology specifications that brings together seven standards development organizations (SDOs) from around the world.

“As a European company, to be in 3GPP, you have to be a member of ETSI first,” he says.

How industry works with ETSI

One example of how the process works, Charaf says, would be reviewing the top-level architecture in the 3GPP group called System Architecture SA2 on the ETSI site. Operators and other stakeholders working in mobile, satellite or other networks would submit their set of operational requirements and use cases on the site, and the SA2 group reviews that information to see how the architecture and use cases could be enabled at a very high level.

“Then, it’s passed to the other dedicated groups to define it more specifically — exactly how it works, the feasibility of the architecture and whether it can be compatible with technology that already exists in the market,” he says. “They seek to determine if, for example, 5G technology can operate with another technology to enable a specific use case.’”

That results in a study that, once approved, is passed to other groups to create the standards that would be implemented globally.  

“It’s very important for us and other ICT companies to ensure that things are interoperable. It can be complex,” he says.  

Charaf adds that companies may object to a proposal to a standard — or even an approved one — if they believe it’s incorrect or unworkable for some reason. Challenges are reviewed by a committee that determines if the objection is valid.

The large number of topic areas and groups within ETSI and 3GPP means there’s plenty of access to use cases that might seem outside the realm of a particular technology but that can be relevant.

“A good example for E-Space is railways,” Charaf says. “A dedicated technical committee in ETSI is charged with defining European harmonized standards for rail. So having access to the group focused on rail is very important for ascertaining how we can work with these operators.”  

That benefit extends to other areas, he notes.

“When you apply this to other vertical markets, it becomes quite apparent how important it is to join organizations such as ETSI and 3GPP, as they provide unique access to market depth and entry.”


E-Space is a global space company focused on bridging Earth and space with the most sustainable low earth orbit (LEO) network that is expected to reach over one hundred thousand multi-application communication satellites to help businesses and governments securely and affordably access the power of space to solve problems on Earth.