Salim Yaghmour, Intelsat
Carroll Gray-Preston, ATIS

Iain Sharp, ATIS

Integration of Non-Terrestrial Networks with 5G and Beyond

Satellites maximize the inherent value of 5G networks by solving coverage problems and difficult use-cases that ground-based infrastructure alone cannot address. 5G standards make Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) -including satellite segments – a recognized part of 5G connectivity infrastructure.

However, there is more work to be done to ensure that satellite systems are integrated as an intrinsic part of the 5G ecosystem. Intelsat, a leading provider of satellite communication services, is the chair of the ATIS Working Group (WG) focused on this integration.

The goal of the WG is to establish standards for satellite NTNs in 5G and beyond. This will be achieved by bringing together satellite operators and other organizations to develop technical positions and create aligned contributions to advance the support of NTNs in 3GPP. Additionally, the group will evaluate ecosystem topics that are not covered by the existing 3GPP standards.

Integrating 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) with the terrestrial network has the potential to bring connectivity to the unconnected, delivering a future of unprecedented access to ICT services. Orchestrating a cohesive dialogue between satellite operators and terrestrial providers is key to making this happen. ATIS’ NTN Working Group is committed to fostering the convergence of ideas and technical solutions in this area — effectively bridging the gap between the satellite community and influential terrestrial 3GPP ecosystem contributors.

This collaboration will shape priorities and use cases, catering to both domains’ nuanced requirements. Integration strategies will address the distinctive attributes of satellite systems to ensure a robust and effectively integrated network. For mobile network operators and other stakeholders, seamless and efficient integration with satellite systems will create a more synergistic network — one that transcends traditional boundaries and further unleashes 5G’s revolutionary capabilities.


Carroll Gray-Preston, ATIS

Iain Sharp, ATIS

Related Blog Posts