VT iDirect, SES, Broadpeak, i2CAT and the University of Surrey, all members of the SaT5G consortium, have partnered to demonstrate a major milestone in the research, development and validation of key principles for satellite integration with 5G architecture. The live, first-of-its-kind test marked a significant step forward in the massive transformation of the global communications industry, which will deliver enhanced security, ubiquitous connectivity and mobility, and expanded broadcast capabilities.
Taking place at the EuCNC2018 conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the live test demonstrated the integration of satellite into a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) network architecture, comprising a Software-defined Networking (SDN) / Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) / Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)-enabled pre-5G construction testbed, with a geostationary satellite. It also showcased satellite backhauling features and efficient edge delivery of multimedia content in pre-5G networks, which act as Proof-of-Concepts for integration of those features into a full 5G network.
The SaT5G project is funded by the European Commission and its consortium brings together industry leaders across the ecosystem to promote the cost-effective “plug and play” integration of satellite technology into 5G networks. The successful demonstration shows the first of the project milestones conceived to reach full seamless integration with 5G over the next few years.
Forming the partnership, VT iDirect provided a pre-5G enabled satellite hub platform and satellite terminal that incorporates SDN, NFV and MEC capabilities, and enables the satellite integration to a 3GPP network architecture. SES provided end-to-end connectivity between the remote node and the core network via its geostationary ASTRA 2F satellite and its teleport in Betzdorf. The University of Surrey provided its 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) testbed element, located at Surrey in the United Kingdom. Broadpeak supplied an MEC-enabled platform for Content Delivery Network (CDN) caching and Multicast Average Bit Rate (ABR) to optimize Satellite bandwidth usage, in order to demonstrate content delivery to demo attendees, via tablets and smart phones. The Management and Orchestrator (MANO) system from i2CAT orchestrated the virtualized resources.
“Integrating satellite communications into 5G network architectures is critical to enabling telecommunication providers to support rapidly accelerating demand for bandwidth around the world, and for consumer and enterprise applications,” said Aneesh Dalvi, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, VT iDirect. “VT iDirect and its SaT5G team members are fundamentally changing how satellite is deployed in order to match 5G infrastructure. It is extremely validating to see the tremendous work our team has done to hit this first milestone.”