The technical challenges that we are addressing for the realisation of cost effective “plug and play” satcom solutions for 5G are:
- Virtualisation of satcom network functions to ensure compatibility with the 5G Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) architecture;
- Allowing cellular network management system to control satcoms’ radio resources and service;
- Developing link aggregation scheme for small cell connectivity mitigating Quality of Service (QoS) and latency imbalance between satellite and cellular access;
- Leveraging 5G features/technologies in satcom;
- Optimising/harmonising key management and authentication methods between cellular and satellite access technologies;
- Optimal integration of the multicast benefits in 5G services for both content delivery and Virtualised Network Function (VNF) distribution.
To rise to these challenges, the SaT5G project addresses six Research Pillars (RPs) and three horizontals as shown in the figure opposite.
We will show in SaT5G that by integration of satcom into 5G, new business opportunities are created to engage major stakeholders. We will develop key interfaces that allow the integration of the virtualised satellite components into terrestrial 5G testbeds as well as satellite gateways and terminals with virtualised functions and components for integration into testbeds. In the standardisation fora, we will establish pathway to 5G standardisation in 3GPP and ETSI.