5G will see satellite and terrestrial interworking increase

Tuesday 10 April 2018


Satellite plays an important role in delivering communications across the world – and as mobile connectivity continues to grow in popularity and 5G technology begins to be realized, satellite technology will become more essential than ever.

At Mobile World Congress 2018, SatTV spoke to Semir Hassanaly, Market Director for Cellular Backhaul and Trunking at Newtec, to discuss the pivotal role that satellite already plays in delivering high-speed connectivity across the world, providing seamless connections for live world events, broadcasting and mobile backhaul for 2G voice services in emerging markets, as well as 3G and 4G data services in more urban areas.

During the interview, Hassanaly reveals that in the last three years Newtec has carried out more than 20 commercial deployments for mobile backhaul. He goes on to explain how mobile backhaul represents a bigger opportunity moving forward, thanks mostly to 4G but also 2G and 3G.

Hassanaly also outlines the progress the satellite industry is making on 5G, with 3GPP now recognizing satellite as an alternative transport solution to terrestrial. On the commercial side of 5G, Newtec, along with a number of other companies, has an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) to start trials in 2019. Hassanaly said the company is also working on the technical side of 5G, picking up key areas such as virtualization of the infrastructure and providing increased throughput at remotes.

These advancements, Hassanaly explains, will help service providers in areas where they struggle to get conventional bandwidth, with satellite being complementary to terrestrial access methods. 5G in particular will bring more interworking between satellite and terrestrial with the best methods of connectivity depending on the application.

Moving away from mobile, Hassanaly highlighted a number of other areas where there is an increasing need for reliable connectivity which can be satisfied by satellite, including In-Flight Connectivity (IFC), Maritime, Broadcast, Government and Defense, and Enterprises.