We’re standing on the edge of transformative change in connectivity and communications. That change is called 5G and it promises to literally shake up overall network capabilities, offering an exciting opportunity to enter new markets and provide for a plethora of new applications.
At ST Engineering iDirect, we are passionate about pioneering the transformation. Indeed, we have been spearheading the role of satellite in the 5G landscape, becoming involved in consortia that are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible such as the SATis5 initiative, part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES).
The collaboration on milestone testing amidst the entire ecosystem is essential, and working together on these projects enables us to prove to the world what we already know – that satellite is an essential component in future 5G networks.
To successfully deploy the full potential of 5G, mobile network operators (MNOs) need satellite to offload network congestion. This can be achieved in different ways, using multicasting for example, or rerouting non-latency-sensitive services such as broadband applications or Internet of Things (IoT) data via backhauling 5G traffic from remote areas. That’s why the satellite industry, including ST Engineering iDirect, is transforming the fabric of our network to better align with 5G standards, making it easier for MNOs to adopt and sell satellite services in the 5G future.
We believe in the importance of demonstrations that allow people and ecosystem partners to experience what satellite can do for 5G networks. In our live demonstration at the FOKUS FUSECO Forum, held in Berlin on November 7-8, we were joined by SES and Fraunhofer FOKUS to demonstrate how several satellite use cases integrate into the 5G network architecture.
For the purposes of this demo, Fraunhofer FOKUS provided the Open5GCore, off-the shelf devices and base stations; SES contributed the end-to-end managed services and space segment powered by its ASTRA geostationary satellite system. ST Engineering iDirect provided the ground segment equipment and satellite communications (satcom) features showcasing broadband multimedia and video content delivery to the edge as well as narrowband IoT applications using satellite backhaul connectivity with the ability to operate over a satellite network with 5G and Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) integration.
The demo comprised of a Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and MEC-enabled 5G testbed demonstrating very high flexibility with NFV and MEC, and the provision of management for on-premise deployments.
This successful milestone demo underlined once again that satellite integration enables all major 5G use cases from broadband, to backhauling and multicasting to the edge, and reinforces how satellite is a crucial part of the satellite 5G future.
Breakthrough technological developments such as this are critical for the advancement of the satcom market and the creation of forthcoming connectivity standards. ST Engineering iDirect is honored to be part of this journey.