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(A.) Policy and legislation

(A.1) Policy objectives

The European Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS) encompasses the Global Satellite Navigation System established under the Galileo programme and the European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS).

Galileo entered Initial Operational Capability (IOC) phase in 2016. Since then, anyone with a Galileo-enabled device is able to use its signals for positioning, navigation and timing. Currently there are more than 200 Galileo-ready models of smartphones and tablets available in the market contributing to an installed base greater than 1 billion. Galileo is also adopted in additional users’ domains such as transportation and the professional one (e.g. surveying or agriculture applications).

The Galileo system is currently providing three types of services:

  • Open Service (OS): Galileo open and free of charge service set up for positioning and timing services.
  • Public Regulated Service (PRS): Service restricted to government-authorised users, for sensitive applications that require a high level of service continuity.
  • Search and Rescue Service (SAR): Europe’s contribution to COSPAS-SARSAT, an international satellite-based search and rescue distress alert detection system.

Once the system reaches its Full Operational Capability it will also offer a High Accuracy Service (HAS), a service complementing the OS by providing an additional navigation signal and added-value services in a different frequency band. The HAS signal will provide a precision down to 20 cm, globally on Earth.

EGNOS is Europe’s regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) that is used to improve the performance of global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS and Galileo. It has been deployed to provide safety of life navigation services to aviation, maritime and land-based users over most of Europe. EGNOS improves the accuracy and reliability of satellite navigation positioning information, while also providing a crucial integrity message regarding the continuity and availability of a signal.

Both Galileo and EGNOS services create extensive socio-economic benefits, and the range of its applications is wide, spanning across numerous market segments and generating value for both, public and private sectors. The links between Galileo services and ICT are particularly strong, as satellite navigation services are considered one of the key enabling technologies for ICT, and are becoming increasingly important for the digital agenda.

The objective of the EU is to ensure that Galileo and EGNOS are widely used, and standardisation plays an important role in this process, especially when it comes to downstream market of EGNSS services, which is still emerging. Standards are a powerful tool to support safety-related applications as well as to ensure the interoperability of Galileo services. Introducing or updating standards related to EGNSS downstream applications is therefore a priority.

( A.2) EC perspective and progress report

The importance of standardisation in relation to space has been evoked during the public consultation on the Space Strategy for Europe, which ranked standardisation as most important for the market uptake of Galileo and EGNOS. In reaction to this, the European Commission’s Space Strategy for Europe, adopted on 26 October 2016, states that “in longer term, the Commission will encourage the uptake of space solutions through standardisation measures and roadmaps”.

In 2017, a study on the overview of EGNSS downstream standardisation and assessment of gaps and future needs has been finalised. The study, after consultations with industry stakeholders, standard setting organisations, governments and civil society representatives, identified the most important areas for EGNSS downstream standardisation and outlined some 50 proposals for action. Based on that, DG GROW has identified three priority areas:

  • Intelligent transport (aviation, drones, road, maritime, rail),
  • Intelligent interconnectivity (location-based services, IoT, 5G), and
  • Intelligent infrastructures (timing and synchronisation of critical infrastructures, such as energy grids)

On 3 October 2018, a workshop with Member States and standardisation organisations took place, in which the Commission services discussed the priorities for the EGNSS downstream standardisation. A Staff Working Document taking stock of the various activities in the field of EGNSS downstream standardisation was adopted in December 2019.

EGNSS downstream standardisation has also been highlighted in the EGNSS Work Programme for 2019 and 2020, as well as in the Management Plan 2021 of the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space.

(A.3) References

(B.) Requested actions

Action 1 -5G- SDOs to include the support for signal authentication and position integrity (EGNSS differentiators) in 5G reference architecture, for example through updating of 3GPP Technical Specifications TS 23.501 or TS 22.071

Action 2 -IoT- SDOs to update standards related to the IoT reference architecture in order to include signal authentication and position integrity in information exchange and sensor description standards, for example OneM2M TS-001-V2.10.0

(C.) Activities and additional information 

(C.1) Related standardisation activities
EC M/496 

CEN, CENELEC and ETSI have a mandate from the EC establishing a programme for space related standards, now in phase 3 of the process. CEN and CENELEC manage standardisation activities related to the space industry via joint CEN-CENELEC Technical Committee ‘Space’ (CEN-CLC/TC 5).


CWA 16874:2015 Verification of performance levels of EGNOS Enabled mass-market receivers:,FSP_ORG_ID:59362,1923139&cs=19FC4E69741D67095B636AF741017E2E7

CWA 16390:2018 Interface control document for provision of EGNOS/EDAS/multi-GNSS based services for tracking and tracing the transport of goods,FSP_ORG_ID:66264,2238989&cs=15C2D155C664EC72312D4BB69624DEBFB

Draft CWA xxxx Verification of performance levels of Galileo Enabled mass-market receivers (under development in CEN-CENELEC Workshop 17)

ETSI 3GPP     

Working Group 4 under the Radio Access Network (RAN) Technical Specifications Group (TSG) - Radio performance and protocol aspects (system) - RF parameters and BS conformance, deals with standards concerning GNSS.


ITU-T SG15 Question 13/15 is working on “Network synchronization and time distribution performance”, which is an important technology for satellite networks.

More info:

ITU-T SG2 Question 3/2 is working on a technical report “identify call location for emergency service”. GNSS data can help to implement handset based AML( Advanced Mobile Location) solution.

More info:

OneM2M and AIOTI

OneM2M is one of the most relevant IoT architecture definition standards organisation and the EC can address it through its members, such as ETSI or AIOTI, to include the options to support EGNSS differentiators in the reference architectures. The Alliance for the Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) associates key IoT industrial players, as well as well-known European research centres, universities, associations and public bodies, and promotes convergence and interoperability of IoT standards. Through its working groups, such as WG03, AIOTI can support the EC to promote the use of authentication and integrity of EGNSS within IoT reference architectures. On the other hand, the EC could address ETSI, who is the founding partner of Technical Specification TS-0001-V2.10.0, containing information on how to manage location.