Augmenting 5G mobile networks with next-generation satellite capabilities may help satellite operators become a major player in the emerging 5G ecosystem, leading data and analytics company GlobalData said on Wednesday.
“The next generations of satellites — high throughput satellites (HTS) — are being built on open architectures. They are much more flexible and easier to integrate into 5G networks,” Glen Hunt, Principal Analyst Telecom Technology and Software Analyst at GlobalData, said in a statement.
“With HTS, satellite operators can expand beyond rural broadband and become an integral part of the 5G ecosystem,” Hunt added.
According to the company, sluggish speeds, high latency and lower reliability compared to traditional fibre and digital subscriber line (DSL) options have restricted satellite’s role to being a provider last resort, relegated to serve ultra-rural areas beyond the reach of other technologies.
However, with the advent of upgraded satellite technology, the capacity and performance requirements are expected to be addressed in the 5G era.
“HTS deployments are going to be dramatically less expensive than prior generations of satellite due to a combination of factors including new advances in launch vehicles, miniaturization of components and correspondingly lower power consumption,” Hunt said.
The standards governing true 5G services, likely to be ready to deploy by Q3 2018, are much more ‘satellite-friendly’ than previous Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G networks.