Satellite: Making 5G and satellite a reality

Thursday 27 June 2019
Satellite: Making 5G and satellite a reality

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When we think about the communications of the future, we think about 5G. It promises so much, but it is important to stress that satellite is set to play a critical role in the deployment of 5G networks. In this article, Semir Hassanaly, Market Director, Cellular Backhaul & Trunking, explains how Newtec is spearheading the charge for 5G over satellite.

The telecommunications world is getting fully engaged in the 5G race. While all countries and economic actors are not progressing at the same speed, all agree that there is a foundation to be built in order to reap all the benefits of 5G. In the satellite world, it starts with the architecture where virtualization, orchestration and SDN (Software Defined Network) are key. Next to this, interworking with the terrestrial world is essential for the multiple and complex connectivity needs that 5G relies upon. Lastly, the numerous new LEO and MEO constellations will further enrich the 5G use case portfolio and expand the benefits of satellite and high altitude platform stations. Newtec has achieved significant milestones for this foundation, strongly confirming its lead in the 5G for satellite race.

Virtualization and Orchestration in Newtec Dialog

In February 2019, Newtec announced its collaboration with Wind River, a pioneer in the delivery of software for intelligent, connected systems. By using Wind River’s Titanium Cloud virtualization platform, Newtec is developing a 5G solution based on the Newtec Dialog® multiservice platform. The Wind River Titanium Cloud platform delivers the features needed to successfully build and deploy a virtualized network running multiple Virtual Machines. 

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) promises lower-cost, highly flexible and scalable infrastructure, as well as providing customers with the ability to get better service access anywhere in the world. The combination of Newtec Dialog with Wind River’s Titanium Cloud platform allows customers and service providers to scale services up or down quickly to address changing needs. It also simplifies the architecture and enhances scalability which is paramount for 5G.

A number of use-cases for 5G over satellite require close interworking with terrestrial mobile networks where NFV/SDN technologies are becoming key and satellite architecture must leverage network orchestration, virtualization and slicing functions to offer a truly seamless connectivity service. The same architecture principles will be also leveraged in Newtec’s terminals in the near future, paving the way for a 5G solution addressing Mobile Backhaul, OTT Broadcast, Broadband and Mobility markets.

Satellite and Terrestrial Interworking with Newtec Dialog

The plethora of connected objects will require a seamless connectivity plan anywhere, anytime and with the best quality of service in terms of availability, throughput and latency. The interworking between the terrestrial and satellite worlds is essential towards achieving this objective. The European Space Agency (ESA)-funded Demonstrator for Satellite-Terrestrial Integration in the 5G context (SATis5) project deals with this key question and showcases the integration of satellites into a large-scale 5G Europe-wide testbed with access to satellite over-the-air demonstration capabilities for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and massive machine type communications (mMTC) applications. Newtec Dialog is one of the main communication nodes of the SATis5 testbed which will facilitate the over the air functionality of the SATis5 testbed and will be directly connected to the Munich Center for Space Communications earth station.

World’s First 5G over LEO Satellite with Newtec Modem

In April 2019, Newtec achieved the world’s first demonstration of 5G over a LEO satellite. The test involved University of Surrey Innovation centre’s 5G equipment, with Telesat’s LEO P1 satellite, and Vodafone UK’s resources. Video chat sessions, simultaneous 8K streaming and Internet browsing were tested within stringent Quality of Service (QoS) and slicing parameters. A 4K video was also transferred to the edge of the 5G network representing a future 5G use case. Out of the technologies tested, Newtec modems demonstrated the highest modulation, efficiency and throughput performances, and the ability to deliver 8K videos with superior Quality of Experience (QoE). This paves the way for increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications over 5G for the maritime, aero, connected car and broadband markets which have not previously been possible.

Conclusion

Newtec is at the very forefront of developments for 5G over satellite. Our proven leadership in ultra-high performance satellite systems and industry-leading bandwidth efficiency technology is further reinforced though these latest initiatives in 5G which will help to bring about the next generation of communications. Find out more about our work on 5G here:

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