Find the answers to some of the most common questions we receive at Gatehouse Satcom.

Are you recruiting people from telecom domain or only from satcom?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

Yes, we recruit from telecom as well. We currently have several open job listings on our website. The engineering and management teams at Gatehouse are very diverse, not only having extensive experience in the domains of telecom and satcom, but they are also industry leaders in specific technical areas, such as eNodeB, gNodeB, waveforms and system architecture within the non-terrestrial network technology area. The majority of the team holds a Master´s Degree, while other colleagues have a PHD background specialized in telecom or satcom.

How is the compensation done on the UE based on GNSS and which information is broadcast?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The UE needs to measure its position and velocity by GNSS in Rel17. There will be frequent broadcasts from the NodeB containing the orbit of the satellite enabling the UE to calculate path loss, timing advance and Doppler. The device will then compensate its uplink signal which means the NodeB will only experience the additional delay compared to terrestrial systems.

Is it really possible to provide service to “ordinary” 5G devices from space?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

The link-budgets and experiments carried out so far show that cellular NTN is feasible with regular handheld devices. One factor to consider is that although the propagation distance is greatly increased, the satellite base-station can utilize directional antennas to achieve large gains.

When do you think NTN services will be available for use?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In 3GPP Rel17 was feature frozen in June 2022 and a completely commercially-deployable Rel17 is targeted for September 2022. Given some development time after this time, NTN services including user equipment will likely become available during 2023.

Does 5G NB-IoT NTN standard require synchronous connectivity between the device and the NGSO network?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, several procedures require synchronous connectivity between device and the network core. There is a study item on agenda for R19 on store and forward functionality. This is to mitigate the issue of discontinuous feeder links i.e. ground connectivity for delay tolerant applications.

How does the 5G NB-IoT NTN standard handle the case that the device is rapidly moving (covering multiple TA in a small time period) and need to be connected to a NGSO network?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

This depends on the situation. First, there need to be feeder link switch-overs in place to secure connection to ground from any satellite. Secondly the device may have to do cell-reselection if moving into coverage of another cell. If moving out of the tracking area it will have to do tracking area update procedure (TAU). If a connection is established through one satellite this connection can be kept even if the device is moving between tracking areas. It may involve a tracking area update of the device.

Old module NB2 can be patched to support SAT communication?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Hardware should be re-usable i.e. software-patch-only could be feasible. Some algorithms like uplink transmission segmentation and time-frequency compensation may be too computationally heavy for some chips to do in SW, but will surely be included in HW in the future. The hardware platform must also include GNSS receiver to support compensation algorithms.

What is the cost of the ‘Earth Moving cell paradigm’ against the earth fixed cell one?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In NGSO, Earth fixed cells will require more advanced antennas leading to higher costs. On the other hand it is easier to manage system wise. The industry is divided on which is better and it is difficult to judge at this time which will be least expensive overall. In GEO it is trivial to have earth-fixed cells in a scenario that is very similar to terrestrial cellular with the exception of additional propagation delay and loss.

How many SAT are needed to have 1 min of tracking?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Depending on the orbit, configuration and antenna system this can be quite different. However 1-2 min of tracking with one CubeSat in LEO at 600km height is possible.

Can devices emerged in sea be caught by the SAT, or would the device need to be exposed to the sky?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

“The first issue with being submerged in water is the additional propagation loss in the water: Water being conductive severely attenuates radio frequencies. So it would be key to stay at a low depth. Better link budget, ie. directional antennas and higher transmission powers, can help overcome this issue to some extend.

The second issue is refraction between the air-water mediums. Refraction happens when a wave travels through a medium of one density into another medium of a different density. This causes the path of the wave to bend and also slows down the speed of the wave which in turn decreases the wavelength, which an underwater receiver must also account for.

In short the underwater scenario is very challenging and it would be advantageous to communicate at the surface.”

Are you expecting to support multicast by satellite for 5G IoT devices?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes as a future feature. The roadmap for our 5G NB-IoT waveform is prioritised according to our customer needs.

What is the capacity of a multicast system?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The capacity of a NB-IoT cell relying on multicast depends on: (1) The MCS of the broadcasting channel, which gives a bit-rate/transmission time for broadcasts and a SNR requirement for allowing decoding of the broadcast, (2) The satellite configuration and resulting link-budget, which fixes the coverage area where the required SNR for the broadcast can be achieved and in turn the number of UEs that can receive the broadcast.

What sort of connection intervals can be supported?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Inter arrival time can be traded-off for the number of supported UEs. In our framework we calculate the capacity in terms of procedural exchanges that can be supported per second for a given type of traffic. So if 50 exchanges of a DoNAS transmission can be supported by second at the system level, that could either be 300 UEs completing a DoNAS exchange every 6th second or 30000 UEs completing a DoNAS exchange every 30 minutes.

How precise is the capacity modelling compared to simulations?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The precision of both analytical modelling and simulation depends on the “models” used for either. A monte-carlo simulation of the NTN protocol and environment is probably the next best candidate realism next to experimental validation IF the simulator takes all the elements of the protocol into account. However, such a simulator takes a long time to develop and it takes a long time (computationally heavy) to run simulations. On the other hand an analytical framework and models takes less development time and runs very quickly. Currently, to our knowledge, there is no NTN NB-IoT simulator that can give the same KPIs as our analysis for a comparison, and we treat our results a good indications or approximations of the performance.

What assumptions does this capacity modelling rely on?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The main assumptions of the capacity modelling framework is that the link-level works, ie. any Delay and Doppler shift has been compensated correctly by the UE. The capacity framework also relies on link-level performance (SNR targets for target BLER) that has been simulated in monte-carlo fashion for NTN TDL models – which is something we can do for both ray-tracing actual places, 3GPP scenarios and hypotheticals like “container ship”.

What is the typical period of such a study?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

A capacity study can take a few weeks to a few months depending on the scope in terms of scenarios to investigate and features that are required to be modelled.

What would capacity be for my satellite system?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Capacity for a system is given by the capacity of the individual stages in our framework: Paging, Random access and procedural signalling+data exchanges. The capacity of a given satellite configuration, accompanying RAN configuration and fading environment is exactly what GateHouse can approximate well with our analytical framework.

How do we see the deployment of GEO can vary w.r.t LEO and technical details around to be considered

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In terms of constellations only a few GSO satellites are required for global coverage whereas LEO requires a swarm – of course LEO can also provide discontinuous global coverage with just a single satellite in polar orbit. As mentioned in the presentation Doppler and Delay variations are a challenge in LEO at the link-level and at the system-level there is the challenge of tracking UEs in tracking-areas (TAs), which in conventional cellular are coupled to specific base stations. In GSO the delay is a challenge along with the path-loss due to the distance to earth.

Slide 7 MO, MT traffic arrows – why they show the same direction?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The framework shows the procedural steps in a RAN. In NB-IoT (and cellular in general) the mobile-terminating traffic and mobile-originating traffic go through the same steps within the RAN to exchange messaging with the exception that MT-traffic additionally includes a paging step, which initiates the random access procedure on the UE. In the MO case the random access procedure is initiated when the UE has data to send. In either case the RA procedure is followed by an exchange of procedural messsages in the up- and dowlink (PUSCH and PDSCH) and eventually the data is transmitted in either the up- or downlink direction depending on whether the traffic was MO or MT.

What is the packet size we are considering here?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The traffic considered in the presentation is a MO DoNAS (Mobile-originating Data over NAS) procedural exchange of messages with an application payload of 50 Bytes. The procedural exchange considered includes random-access messaging, signalling messages and the appended application payload in the DoNAS sequence.

What is the main limitation on the transceiver on the satellite? Power consumption? Or does it get plenty of power from the solar panels? What is the typical power consumption?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The OFDM transmission scheme has a low power-amplifier efficiency so a satellite, which is already limited in it’s estate for solar panels and power budget, will have to burn a good amount of energy in the amplification process. This is less of a problem in GEO satellites where a higher power budget can be attained, and it is a larger issue with for example a CubeSat. However, CubeSats experience less path-loss due to the closer orbits in comparison to satellites in GSO – on the other hand the lifetime in LEO is only a few years. A CubeSat can provide an NB-IoT RAN at 4W output power, but of course with limited capacity and coverage, but it entirely depends on the satellite configuration and service scenario.

Are you assuming the GSO system having several simultaneous gNB cells (one in each beam?)

Category: 5G NTN Technical

This is not an assumption in our framework for analysis, but in general our understanding is that a GSO would want to provide individual cellular service within each beam to increase spectral and power efficiency. In the bent-pibe architecture this requires a wide feeder-link to be sliced and shifted in frequency for each beam or some other efficient encapsulation of the RAN in the feeder link.

Are we expecting any change in “Maximum coupling loss” as the Link budget increases

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, the MCL is defined as a linear function of the link budget. As the distance to the satellite increases so does the satellite lifetime and the cost to launch the satellite into orbit. Thus, it is natural to assume that satellites launched to greater distances are equipped more expensively with a larger power budget for the RAN and antenna dishes which are more directive and have larger aperture sizes, which limits noise.

What is a typical latency for a single LEO satellite (i.e. not a large constellation)?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The latency in LEO can range from 2 to 20 millisecs depending on the orbital height and the elevation angle. The revisit time in LEO depends again on the orbit height and inclination along with the RAN coverage area. This can vary between ~90min to a 12hrs depending on the parameters with a communication window (visibility window) of 20-200 seconds.

Slide 10 – what is the RAN bandwidth assumed ? 5/10/20Mhz for NB-IOT ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Our framework models carriers individually so 200kHz – the results are for NGSO and GSO systems with two UL and two DL carriers, so 200×4 = 800kHz total bandwidth.

How quickly does a user switch between 1 cubesat and the next?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The switch between one satellite and another could be as fast as in terrestrial networks. UEs may trigger radio link failure (RLF) and re-select a cell. Should the UE “see” another cell with better link conditions and report it to the eNB, the eNB may initiate a handover as in conventional cellular networks taking – for example hundreds of milliseconds in LEO. Of course this could be problematic if Extended Coverage (EC) UEs are allowed in the cell and a UE attempts a handover at something like 64 repetitions, which could take many seconds to complete in a narrow communication/visibility window.

What are typical turnaround delays in both CubeSat and GSO cases?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Say a procedural exchange involves transmitting 6 one-way messages back and forth in the MO scenario with 1 additional message (paging) in the MT case. The delay in LEO is 2-30 ms and 120 ms in the GOS case. That is a total propagation delay of 12-180 ms for LEO and 720 ms for GEO. Additionally the time required for the transmissions – the time on air (TOA) – will depend on the size of the messages and the SNR conditions during the exchange. A quick estimate would be 6 ms ToA in a perfect scenario and 6 msgs x4 RUs x16 reps x32 RU duration (3.75kHz) = 12288 ms in a worst-case scenario. An additional overhead would stem from the transmission of the random access preamble (RAP) and any paging.

What range of frequencies do these charts represent?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The carrier frequencies are ~2GHz (S-band) for both UL and DL

When you say 1 Anchor and 1 non-anchor, does it mean 1×200 KHz DL and 2x 200 KHz UL ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The results in the slides are for a 2DL-2UL carrier configuration as the carriers are conventionally configured in pairs: 1 anchor DL carrier with the synchronisation signals, 1 DL non-nachor DL carrier, 2 UL carriers (both with RACH)

How devices are priotized?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In our framework devices do not have a priority – instead we calculate the required amount of resources for a procedural exchange and then we calculate – given a specific RAN configuration – how many such resource allocations can be fitted per second. We then assume an ‘overhead’ from the scheduler being inefficient.

Excellent presentation thanks! Why is there only a trailing ‘tail’ in the LEO case. Aren’t UE’s on the leading edge of the moving cell also consuming higher level of channel resources?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

As a LEO satellite approaches a UE, the UE must first detect the synchronisation signals in the DL and synchronize to the cell before it can initiate a procedural exchange and take up resources within the cell. Since the satellite is moving towards the UE, once the UE is able to synchronize to the cell it will find itself in good link conditions within a few millicseconds and so UEs that begin a procedural exchange as soon as the are synchronized will mostly be in good conditions for the exchange. As the satellite moves away from the UE, we assume that the UE can maintain synchronicity – perhaps utilizing SIB31 for compensation – but if it initiates a procedural exchange now, then the link conditions deteriorate further during the procedural exchange. This latter case is what is creating the “tail” effect in the LEO case.

Thanks for your presentation. I agree with the NB-IoT view, do you expect in long-term also higher data rates MTC over satellite. E.g. Rel. 17 feature RedCap also over NTN?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

NB-IoT is a straightforward solution for NTN because it allows for coverage at a low SNR with a very small amount of signaling overhead and when NTN is rolled out, NB-IoT and eMTC will have an advantage due to the discontinuous coverage scenario – i.e. they are designed to work in NTN with only a few satellites present. eMTC may be be the first next-step up for NTN for MTC in terms of features and data-rates, but RedCap NR devices are also likely contenders for IoT over NTN. However, the NR rollout requires a larger satellite constellation with continuous coverage. However, NR NTN has a big push in its favor from future cellular handsets integrating NTN capabilities at a low cost – since they already are equipped with a GNSS, most of the required changes could be made with a firmware update and an antenna adjustment. So satellite/constellation rollout for NR NTN could end-up being very fast.

What is the size of UL Sub-carriers in your analysis – 3.75 KHz or 15KHz, and are you using multi-tone?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In the presented results, 3.75kHz sub-carriers are assumed for the UL. There’s a trade-off in bandwidth and power when selecting the sub-carrier, but in general for the NTN case the RAN is operating in a power-limited domain (very low SNR) and so increasing the power budget is advantageous to increasing the bandwidth.

What’s the typical Doppler shift for LEO? How is it compensated for in the UEs? Just a phase shift, or does it require fancier signal processing?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In the presented results, 3.75kHz sub-carriers are assumed for the UL. There’s a trade-off in bandwidth and power when selecting the sub-carrier, but in general for the NTN case the RAN is operating in a power-limited domain (very low SNR+B25) and so increasing the power budget is advantageous to increasing the bandwidth.

What is the NBIoT operating mode we considered here?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Stand-alone NTN NB-IoT with a bent-pibe (transparent) satellite architecture

Can you make a rough comparison with capacity of LPWAN-derived systems (e.g. LoRa over satellite) that have much less signaling than NB-IoT ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

NB-IoT is a LPWAN often compared to LoRaWAN. In general, LoRaWAN is limited in terms of possible QoS and the number of supported devices in comparison to NB-IoT, but LoRaWAN operates in unlicensed spectrum, which can reduce costs. In an NTN context: (1) the LoRa modulation would suffer at the long distances where only the very high spreading factors would work (without excessive tx power requirements) resulting in a low bit-rate and (2) the large coverage area of NTN cell means that possibly a large number of UEs would reside within the cell and here the ‘Aloha’ access mechanism of LoRaWAN is a severe limiting factor on the scalability – especially in tandem with low throughput (very long temporally) transmissions that are more likely to collide. On the plus-side, the LoRa modulation allows for direct Doppler compensation – no need for a SIB31.

Why is the delay comparision interesting for an NB-IoT messaging system? I understand why it is important for realtime voice but why do you keep emphasising the GEO delay for NB-IoT? Am I missing some big advantage of low latency NB-IoT?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Most points on latency was in answer to the incoming questions – see the Q/A above. For delay-tolerant applications the propagation delay is not an issue, but for near-real time applications it could indeed be – control, alarms, etc. LEO accommodating as low as 40-100 ms exchanges and GSO in the order of seconds. The main difference for delay-tolerant applications with regards to the distance of the satellite would of course be the path loss and everything that follows in the satellite configuration to have an accommodating MCL.

In your GSO analysis, did you use assume a standard mobile handset antenna to close the GSO link?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The assumptions is a 0 dB omnidirectional antenna with an 7 dB NF in the LNA.

What is the difference between gNB and eNB?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

eNB and gNB is the terminology for base-stations in 4G and 5G, respectively. NB-IoT is a 4G-based technology and was developed in 4(½)G – it does however fulfill the requirements for the 5G mMTC (massive machine type communications) scenario, which is why 3GPP decided to use NB-IoT (and eMTC) as technologies for 5G. So NB-IoT is BOTH 4G and 5G, which is why you will often find both eNB and gNB used in the context of NTN IoT. NB-IoT does interoperate with the 4G backhaul – Evolved Packet Core – from that perspective eNB should be the correct terminology.

How will LEO satellites work with Rel-17?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

3GPP Release 17 supports Non-Terrestrial connectivity using, for example, satellites in transparent mode. While connected in transparent mode, both service and feeder link must be active simultaneously to obtain service. Signals are mirrored by the satellite between user terminal and ground station. In the case of LEO satellites, connectivity to a ground station must be established before service can be provided to user terminals. Hence, connectivity is provided while the satellite is visible.

How can we be sure that our GEO system will be able to run Rel-17 compliant services?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Being able to support 5G NB-IoT services with a GEO system depends on various factors, all going back to your system infrastructure and set-up (e.g what bands you are operating on, what capacity you have, what user devices, which antennas are required, etc.). We can help you in generating a neutral, third party answer to this, with our 3GPP and NTN expertise we apply when developing the software for those systems. More specifically, we can help you in answering this question, by designing an individual pre-assessment or feasibility study based on your individual needs and system set-up. The goal is to verify the viability of supporting 5G NB-IoT, and to calculate the system capacity and business case, for example.

For this, we bring in our expertise for simulations of the link budget, and the assessment of the system capabilities. Pilot projects (lab tests, proof of concepts, and in orbit demonstrations) are also on our agenda, with the goal to pave your way to a commercial 5G NB-IoT NTN system.

When do you recommend starting looking into 5G?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

With Rel-17´s protocol coding freeze in June this year, we recommend looking into 5G as soon as possible. Based on this timeline, software protocols for the UE and the satellite side will be available for first lab tests and proof of concepts shortly thereafter, until they are expected to be commercially available in Mid 23. We recommend using the time until then, to understand your system set-up and requirements, and the time for testing and proofing the concept within your infrastructure, so that you are ready when Rel-17 can be implemented into commercial systems.

Devices required for adopt the system and cost…?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

It is expected that standard, off-the-shelf chipsets will be used, alongside with standard NB-IoT supporting devices which we know from terrestrial networks today. The 5G NB-IoT for space needs to be able to run on them, which will be enabled by supporting chipsets. As we are not a chipset company, we cannot say anything in regards to the costs. But similar costs to TN supporting chipsets are expected.

Are 3GPP going to implement and approve DVB-S into 5G NR?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

GateHouse SatCom has no insight into future evolutions of 5G. Changes and additions to the standards are agreed upon between contributing participants. In some backhauling solutions DVB-S is used over the satellite link to connect remote NodeB to the Core Network.

How complex is the integration of Cellular Core with Satellite core? 5G NR is still not deployed in different geographies, Do you have any comments on this?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

GateHouse SatCom is building NodeB to be integrated in Satellite networks in three different scenarios:

1) on the ground supporting transparent mode,

2) in the satellite supporting in-orbit processing and regenerative mode, and

3) at the remote side supporting backhauling of 5G services establishing a remote cell.

We are working with suppliers of LTE and 5G Core Network, but unfortunately we have no insight into the complexity of integrating a Cellular Core into a Satellite Core.

There are already existing satellite core networks build on 3G and 4G cell core networks offering mobile data services.

I did not under the last note on “have to be in the same footprint”. I understand you mentioned this as it is a problem. Maybe you can just explain this again. Also a 2nd question: the 5G handover from one to the next overflying satellite, I understood that some updating on the coding or the onboard processing. But is this not something ground users uplinking/downlinking signals needs to handle (maybe by having the 2nd link up before the 1st one is lost) ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Question 1: We see two issues with the use of transparent mode in NGSO systems. 1) As the satellites are only visible from both ground station and user terminals in a relatively short time period it is only possible to obtain service in smaller time intervals. 2) Since ground stations must be located in the same satellite footprint as the user terminals there will be large parts of the earth surface like the oceans where is not possible to obtain services.

Question 2: Handover of traffic connections resulting from moving NGSO satellites is not supported in release 17 and in transparent mode there is no on-board processing. The procedure and algorithms for handover currently implemented in standard compliant user terminals will not be able to support setting up a 2nd link for handover of the traffic. We expect this to come as part of one of the following releases.

On what frequency band this model is derived?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The carrier frequency (band of operation) is a parameter for the configuration of the feasibility study. In general the frequency will change the link budget and the Doppler characterstics.

Can this simulator be used by Cellular operators to find out which Satellite is giving good coverage and capacity in a geography?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The feasibility study allows for ascertaining system level KPIs (Sytem capacity, UE QoS (Throughput, latency) and UE energy consumption. This is done on the basis of the scenario definition – so it is indeed possible to define a specific geographic area, say the Himalayas and ascertain the performance of a Cell or a UE in that location.

Why is this based on 5G ? Is there a technical limitation that prevented this NB-IoT to work with 4G standards ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

5G is a set of requirements for networks – as was 4G. In 5G one of the targeted use-cases is massive machine type communications (mMTC). The requirement for a 5G mMTC technology is that it must be able to service 1 million devices per km2 sending 32bytes of L2 data every 2 hr. After the requirements had been set, the development of the new technologies for 5G started. It was quickly found that NB-IoT and eMTC were sufficient for this requirement (terrestrially) given enough channels. Therefore these radio access networks are 5G compliant and hence now called 5G. In the backbone of the network there is a core network, here the 5G variant is called 5GC (5G core) and the 4G variant is called EPC (evolved apcket core). Even though the RAN remains largely the same (but has developed over the 3GPP releases) there are some differences in base-station depending on whether it is interfacing with 5GC or EPC.

It was mentioned of 15+ waveforms from Gatehouse. I wonder if there are examples and more details. Thanks.

Category: 5G NTN Technical

We have developed waveforms ranging from GMR-1 to DAMA protocols, to Inmarsat BGAN, to 5G NB-IoT – for military purposes as well as commercial services. If you´d like more details on a specific waveform, just let us know.

Are you recruiting folks from Telecom domain or only from SatCom?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

Yes, we recruit from telecom as well. We currently have several open job listings on our website. The engineering and management teams at GateHouse are very diverse, not only having extensive experience in the domains of telecom and satcom, but they are also industry leaders in specific technical areas, such as eNodeB, gNodeB, waveforms and system architecture within the non-terrestrial network technology area. The majority of the team holds a Master´s Degree, while other colleagues have a PHD background specialized in telecom or satcom.

Thanks for the presentation. Can I ask whether you have done any study concerning potential interference between terrestrial component and NTN component within the same network?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

We have not studied interference between TN and NTN. The networks should be seperated in frequency with appropriate guard bands handling Doppler shift in the NGSO case. The bands and channels allocated for NTN and TN are being etermined by standardization organisations like ITU, 3GPP and ETSI. As a general rule you can count on interference not being allowed.

How is system coping w. finding satellites when both devices and sats are moving?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

3GPP has defined functionality wrt. the channel raster such that UEs will always be able to look for, find and appropriately identify any available channel. The trick is to find an available cell by searching for that particular channel while in coverage of a serving satellite. This can be helped by satellite assistance information, which is a feature that is expected to be settled and included n Rel-17.

What has GHS / 3GPP done to minimize signalling overhead?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

NB-IoT is a LPWAN, that is a low power wide area networks, such protocols are optimized for long-range transmissions of small data packets. Thus NB-IoT already has comparatively little signalling overhead compared to other protocols (which is why the feature set is also minimized). Further, GH is implementing DoNAS in it’s waveform and it is already implemented in the analysis.

Do you apply Beamforming in reception? if yes how do you keep beams inthe rigth direction elevation and azimuth

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In NTN IoT the goal is to reuse the hardware platforms of terrestrial cellular. So the UEs are essentially similar to handheld devices with an omnidirectional antenna. Beamforming may be applied from the satellite site to orient the beam towards a specific geolocation for the “earth-fixed cell” scenario.

What are the currently considered strategies for dealing with the Doppler drift in the NGSO setting ? Are UE supposed to precompensate the Doppler ?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, in Rel-17 the UE will handle the compensation. In the downlink the UE will synchronize to the Doppler shifted NPSS/NSSS signals as usual, it will then decode an ephemeris (a description of the serving satellite’s orbit accurate for a moment, say 1 sec) which will allow the UE to precompensate for the Doppler effect when it transmits in the uplink direction (RACH/PUSCH). This will be the way for NTN IoT (NB-IoT and eMTC) and also NTN NR.

Can Ray-tracing be done for different areas, mountains, ocean, desert?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, the example given in the presentation is arbitrary. Ray tracing can be done for different terrain and geographic locations. We can also “make-up” specific scenarios or use 3GPP fading models.

Are there standardized models for fading simulation made by 3GPP as well?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, 3GPP has standardised CDL and TDL fading models for NTN based on the “IST winner II” model.

Would Gatehouse Satcom invest in customer projects or companies?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

Yes indeed, we aim for business models where success reflects on both our customers and on us.

Do you provide connectivity services to private users?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

No. We are a software development company, developing software protocols for businesses (e.g. satellite operators), who uses said software to offer connectivity services.

Do you provide 24/7 support?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

Yes. Standard GateHouse Support and Maintenance Services is carried out during normal working hours. However, our customers have the possibility to procure a 365/7/24 support & maintenance service as an add-on to the basis service.

Would Gatehouse Satcom engage in exclusivity agreements?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

In principle no, as we deliver products horizontal to the market. GateHouse acknowledges that some customers are developing specialized solutions and may on exceptional basis agree to a limited exclusivity for a specified market or technology.

Has GateHouse completed any live OTA trials of NTN NB-IoT in LEO/GEO?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

Yes, we are developing a waveform for NB-IoT and we have successfully sent NB-IoT synchronization signals on a 800MHz carrier to a GEO satellite from the ground back in 2021.

Who are our customers?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

For the 5G NB-IoT software (the NodeB), our main customers are satellite operators, who wish to bring 5G NB-IoT connectivity services into their portfolio. Besides the standard software development, we are always eager to develop proprietary space software as well (e.g. for military projects).

We also help ground infrastructure providers to understand how they can support 5G NB-IoT for space.

What do you do at Gatehouse Satcom?

Category: About Gatehouse Satcom

GateHouse SatCom is a software only company. During the last 20+ years, we have developed more than 15 different software solutions for space connectivity. Currently, we are developing the bi-directional 5G NB-IoT NTN software (the NodeB), which will be compliant to the 3GPP standard. It can be used in satellite systems for GSO / MEO / LEO satellites, user terminals, and ground infrastructure, supporting up- and downlink. 5G Broadband software (New Radio), as well as Inter Satellite Links are on our roadmap as well.

Besides being software developers, we are doing feasibility studies (consultancy services), to help our customers (space companies) understanding how they can approach 5G NB-IoT for their satellite system.

Are the gatehouse test tools for off-air or on-air testing?

Category: Test Tools

The BGAN and GX test-tools are for off-air testing. The NB-IoT test tool can be applied both off-air and on-air.

What DAMA products can Gatehouse offer?

Category: DAMA

Gatehouse offers both a complete DAMA protocol stack as well as DAMA protocol components.

What services can DAMA support?

Category: DAMA

DAMA can support the following services: Speech, Messaging, Data, VoIP, Unicast, Multicast, and Broadcast.

What is BGAN?

Category: BGAN

Broadband Global Area Network is a Satellite-based communication network with global coverage offered by Inmarsat. It is used by independent service providers to offer a range of voice and broadband services. The service will enable delivery of Internet content, video-on-demand, video conferencing, fax, e-mail, voice, and VPN access at speeds up to 800 kbps accessed via a small, lightweight satellite terminal.

Can ray tracing be done for different areas, mountains, ocean, desert?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, ray tracing can be done for different terrain and geographic locations. We can also create specific scenarios or use 3GPP fading models.

Is there a difference between cell size and beam size?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, a ‘beam’ refers to the RF or ‘physical’ power from the TX side, which is a continuous function. A ‘cell’ is a logical entity on the RX side in a cellular network and is determined as an area within the ‘beam’ where certain criteria are met: Synchronization and SNR above threshold.

What are the currently considered strategies for dealing with the Doppler drift in the NGSO setting? Are UE supposed to precompensate the Doppler?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, in Rel-17 the UE will handle the compensation. In the downlink the UE will synchronize to the Doppler shifted NPSS/NSSS signals as usual, it will then decode an ephemeris (a description of the serving satellite’s orbit accurate for a moment, say 1 sec) which will allow the UE to precompensate for the Doppler effect when it transmits in the uplink direction (RACH/PUSCH). This will be the way for NTN IoT (NB-IoT and eMTC) and also NTN NR.

Do you apply beamforming in reception? If yes how do you keep beams in the right direction elevation and azimuth?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In NTN IoT the goal is to reuse the hardware platforms of terrestrial cellular. So the UEs are essentially similar to handheld devices with an omnidirectional antenna. Beamforming may be applied from the satellite site to orient the beam towards a specific geolocation for the ‘earth-fixed cell’ scenario.

How does the signaling overhead compare for the satellite assistance SIB in LEO vs GEO configurations?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In short, GEO will have little overhead while NGSO and especially LEO will see more overhead, but we expect at most a few percent overhead on the anchor channel. Two SIBs are defined for NTN IoT, the first being for uplink synchronization and the second (to be defined in May) is for helping UEs to predict coverage in discontinuous coverage scenarios, to better enable mobile originating (MO)-traffic. The fist SIB has a fixed size regardless of the use-case, but in LEO it may be necessary to transmit for example once per second (but this will depend on the Orbit, satellite payload GNSS and the band of interest) where in GEO a UE need only receive it once. Overall this SIB should at most take up a few percent of the anchor channel. The SIB for satellite assistance information (SAI) is not defined yet, but we expect it to be of a variable size with plenty of optional parameters. This SIB-SAI is optional and should not be an overhead in GEO. SIB SAI should be expected as overhead in discontinuous NGSO only. The SIB SAI need only be received by UEs once, but the overhead here will again be larger for LEO where the satellite will move faster – a rate of once per 5 or 10 sec should be feasible.

What are the typical messages lengths (in kilobytes) that can be sent and received via satellite NB-IoT? Does it compare with cellular NB-IoT?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The transport block sizes in NTN NB-IoT are the same as in NB-IoT so the difference is in the fading model and the link budget. Provided that the link budget of a satellite payload is comparable to that of a satellite cell the typical message lengths will be comparable between TN and NTN. Basically, you should in most cases be able to expect TN-like performance if the satellite payload is well designed.

Are there any satellite crosslink capabilities providing global Satcom coverage vice just connectivity within one satellite footprint?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, inter-satellite links (ISL) can be used for networking and routing between satellites. However in Rel-17 the focus has been on bent-pipe satellite payloads, i.e.. satellites that act as relays where the ground-station is the actual base-station – so first the focus in a future release needs to switch to regenerative payloads i.e.. base-stations onboard the satellite – and then to ISL later. Nothing hinders ISL at them moment – it is just not standardized.

What are considerations for latency for IoT use case?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The latency in NTN is larger than in terrestrial networks due to the larger propagation delay. In some satellite constellations coverage can not be provided continuously on the ground either. So IoT devices for NTN must be delay tolerant.

Apart from UEs and satlinks, is there any need for ground infrastructure to establish 5G IoT communication?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Indeed, the radio access network (RAN) NB-IoT, LTE, LoRaWAN, etc. are just the communication link between UEs and satellites. To make this link useful a link to the core-network on earth should be established. This latter link is known as the feeder link in SatCom terminology and is established between the satellite and large ground-stations. The service link must provide sufficient capacity for the cumulative RAN information (and then some other telemetry) to be exchanged which is why ground-station typically have large steerable antennas and a large transmission power.

Does 5G NB-IoT work on Ka/Ku band?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Rel-17 will work on the S-band, but preliminary work has already been started on the Ka-band. It is likely that higher bands will be supported in future releases. The higher frequencies are a source of wider spectrum/bandwidth for the NTN networks, but there are major challenges involved with higher frequencies – in particular dealing with the increased signal propagation. It could very well be unfeasible to launch ka/Ku band on cubesat payloads due to the limited power budget.

How are your simulations handling dynamics of moving sats?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In the case of a GEO sat the cell will have a static link-budget and the elevation angle toward the satellite does not vary throughout the cell. In the case of NGSO earth-fixed cell, the cell has a fixed position and so would a stationary UE within it, but the link-budget and elevation angles are dynamic and change overt time, so we compute these for a satellite pass. In case of a earth-moving cell NGSO we have a cell which moves within the cell the linkbudget and elevation angles are static, but the cell moves over the UE. This is equivalent to a UE travelling within a GEU cell (at approximately 7.3km/s or so)

How is your systems coping with finding satellites when both devices and sats are moving?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

3GPP has defined functionality wrt. the channel raster such that UEs will always be able to look for, find and appropriately identify any available channel. The trick is to find an available cell by searching for that particular channel while in coverage of a serving satellite. This can be helped by satellite assistance information.

Is it possible to emulate 5G NB-IoT network links?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Yes, real life testing w. in-orbit emulator.

Have you done any study concerning potential interference between terrestrial component and NTN component within the same network?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

We have not studied interference between TN and NTN. The networks should be separated in frequency with appropriate guard bands handling Doppler shift in the NGSO case. The bands and channels allocated for NTN and TN are being determined by standardization organizations like ITU, 3GPP and ETSI. As a general rule you can count on interference not being allowed.

Why is this based on 5G? Is there a technical limitation that prevented this NB-IoT to work with 4G standards?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

5G is a set of requirements for networks – as was 4G. In 5G one of the targeted use-cases is massive machine type communications (mMTC). The requirement for a 5G mMTC technology is that it must be able to service 1 million devices per km2 sending 32bytes of L2 data every 2 hr. After the requirements had been set, the development of the new technologies for 5G started. It was quickly found that NB-IoT and eMTC were sufficient for this requirement (terrestrially) given enough channels. Therefore these radio access networks are 5G compliant and hence now called 5G. In the backbone of the network there is a core network, here the 5G variant is called 5GC (5G core) and the 4G variant is called EPC (evolved packet core). Even though the RAN remains largely the same (but has developed over the 3GPP releases) there are some differences in base-station depending on whether it is interfacing with 5GC or EPC.

Does the beam center move with the satellite movement in NGSO or does it “track” the location of the NB-IOT devices in FOV?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

There are two scenarios defined by 3GPP in the NGSO case: 1) Earth-fixed cells, where an NGSO satellite steers its beams such that the cell projected on the ground does not move and 2) Earth-moving cells, where an NGSO satellite has a fixed beam direction, such that the cell moves around with the satellite.

What bandwidth can be reached (in bits per second)?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The peak throughput is a bit less than for terrestrial NB-IoT around 258 kbits/s in PDSCH(DL) and the same in PUSCH(UL) at the link-level without accounting for propagation time. In reality the obtainable throughput will depend heavily on the link-budget throughout the cell and this is a function of the satellite payload. In our feasibility study we can take this evaluation one step further to account for overhead in terms of static signaling and the dynamic message exchanges (an application payload is embedded in a larger message exchange, eg. RA+)

On what frequency band are your simulations derived?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The carrier frequency (band of operation) is a parameter for the configuration of the feasibility study. In general the frequency will change the link budget and the Doppler characteristics.

How do you know that your models are performing / simulating “real-life-scenarios”?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

In essence, the realism of the feasibility study depends on the configuration of the scenario (input parameters) and the results are generally approximation, worst/best-case results and where applicable they have been compared to similar SoTA results. All modelling is an attempt to deconstruct or approximate reality in a way that we can more easily deal with. In our feasibility-study we have divided the RAN (radio access network) in three major parts the fading channel, the link-level and the system level. We can develop fading channels based on Ray-tracing, which will be very realistic or use a more abstract/generalized model – or 3GPP standardized models depending on choice. On the Link-level we do extensive monte-carlo simulations to find the link performance given the chosen fading model. On the system level we have rigorous analytical models, which account for many protocol aspects and signaling overheads (e.g. the various message sequences) – and this level relies on the realism of the two layers below.

Can you explain the difference between 5G NTN and 6G?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

6G will be an evolution of 5G. 6G has not been defined and is expected to incorporate even more of the NTN capabilities. The first 3GPP release that will  incorporate 6G is expected with release 21 in 2029.

The 5G handover from one to the next overflying satellite, is this not something ground users uplinking/downlinking signals needs to handle (maybe by having the 2nd link up before the 1st one is lost)?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Handover of traffic connections resulting from moving NGSO satellites is not supported in release 17 and in transparent mode there is no on-board processing. The procedure and algorithms for handover currently implemented in standard compliant user terminals will not be able to support setting up a 2nd link for handover of the traffic. We expect this to come as part of one of the following releases.

Will there be issues with the use of transparent mode in NGSO systems?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

We see two issues with the use of transparent mode in NGSO systems.

1) As the satellites are only visible from both ground station and user terminals in a relatively short time period it is only possible to obtain service in smaller time intervals.

2) Since ground stations must be located in the same satellite footprint as the user terminals there will be large parts of the earth surface like the oceans where is not possible to obtain services.

Will it be possible to use the satellites for data transmission in connected mode or is connectivity restricted to disconnected mode vie the random access procedure?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

There are no changes to the protocol or services available under 3GPP release 17 for non-terrestrial networks. A PDP Context can be established and maintained for data transmission as for terrestrial networks. Hence it is not needed to apply the random access procedure as long as the connection is not broken. For NGSO communication, the transmission will be likely a few minutes, and for GEO transmission the context can be kept longer active.

Can you comment on the solutions to the synchronization in the presence of Dopper spread also considering the relatively short satellite visibility time?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

With help of the NPSS, NSSS and NRS, a signal can be detected, and during the decoding of it, the frequency offset can be determined. That this frequency offset can be very high, and becomes lower the closer the satellite comes to the UE can be calculated and resolved by the processing algorithm.

What are your thoughts on power consumption and Line of Sight going to affect hybrid connectivity?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The 3GPP standards specify multimode user terminals that are capable of obtaining service without modifications on both terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks. Tests have been conducted with hardware conforming to earlier releases where only software was modified to obtain service. Hence, power consumption is expected to be equal to previous releases for user terminals working in hybrid mode. To close the link budget user terminals are expected to have line of sight visibility to satellites when used on satellite based networks.

How will the regenerative mode help out on LEO networks?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Compared to the transparent mode (Rel-17), the regenerative mode will include enhancements and optimizations for NGSO satellite systems, considering the moving of the non-Geostationary satellites, enabling efficient blind search of user devices, etc. The regenerative will enable UEs to communicate with the NodeB even when a feeder link is not active, and makes communication everywhere on the globe possible. In the regenerative mode, the NodeB will be located on the satellites themselves.

Which chipsets are expected for TN/NTN dualmode 5G NB-IoT operations?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

To support NTN 5G NB-IoT connectivity, common chipsets that can support multiple access technologies, as well control carriers on multiple frequencies, are expected to be used.

For LEO satellites, the chipsets will need to be able to control the timing and frequency drifting, caused by the varying time delay and Doppler due to the satellite’s motion.

What antenna is required for an NTN 5G NB-IoT device?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

It is desirable and possible to use the same kind of omnidirectional antennas which are used in terrestrial IoT devices. To compensate for the low device antenna gain, the satellite shall be equipped with a directional antenna with a higher gain. It will still be beneficial and possible for some devices to use a higher gain antenna to obtain a better link-budget.

Will there be spectrum / frequency available in my country?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

5G NB-IoT connectivity for NTN and TN networks is expected to be a global standard. Please approach your local ITU, to obtain and apply for spectrum allocation.

How will the network be managed between satellite operators on the non-terrestrial network side (NTN) and the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the terrestrial network (TN) side?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The expected end-vision of the 5G standardization foresees connectivity provision handled by MNOs. This would mean that IoT customers who need connectivity for their IoT terminals, would approach their local MNO, who offers connectivity for dual mode networks (meaning terrestrial and non-terrestrial connectivity – TN and NTN). In this case, the satellite operator would have an agreement with the MNO. Until the standardization has evolved to this point, we expect satellite operators to offer 5G network directly to their customers, with the MNO brought in case by case.

Will there be a seamless satellite handover in a LEO or GSO scenario?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Devices can stay connected to the same GSO satellite, since the satellite is stationary. LEO satellites are moving in relation to earth, and devices will need to continue reselecting different satellites. Otherwise, connection gaps will be experienced. As NB-IoT currently does not support Handover procedures, a message transfer will need to finish during the pass of a single satellite.

How is Doppler effect handled with NB-IoT and non stationary satellites (NGSO)?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Since NGSO satellites (e.g. LEO or MEO satellites) are moving around the earth at very high speeds (can be as fast as 28.000 km/hour), transmission signals are influenced by the Doppler-effect. Mathematical algorithms are helping to reconstruct the transmission signaling by taking into account the (moving) positions of the satellite and device. For this GNSS position information of the satellite will be transmitted within System Information Broadcast messages. The device’s location can either be fixed configured or retrieved via an embedded GNSS module. By doing this, the original signal can be recovered and the uplink transmission can be pre-compensated at the device side.

What latency level is anticipated with GSO and LEO satellites?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

With GSO satellites positioned stationary at 36.000 km from Earth propagation delays up to 541 ms will occur. Comparably for a scenario with a LEO satellite on 600 km distance, this will vary between 4-26 ms depending on the position of the satellite in relation to the device for regenerative systems. For transparent systems, as focused on in 3GPP Rel-17, the LEO propagation delay is doubled (8-52 ms).

What link budget is anticipated for NTN NB-IoT?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

There will often be direct line-of-sight between satellite and device but the Free-Space-Path-Loss for NTN NB-IoT is higher, due to longer distance. The link budget is calculated separately for up- and downlink. Uplink is favored by the use of single-tone transmission which theoretically adds up to 17 dB gain. Antennas on GSO satellites are typically having a large gain (around 50 dBi) while it is less for LEO satellites. This results in LEO and GSO link-budgets with comparable dB ranges. Calculation on a small-sat LEO case indicates that SNR range for downlink is -5 to 0 dB while for uplink it is -2 to 3 dB (depending on elevation angle and distance between the device and satellite).

In what frequencies does NTN 5G NB-IoT operate?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Even though current operational satellite frequency bands can be used, from 3GPP directive, the S-band (2-4 GHz) is set as an exemplary band.

That´s why we are currently developing the software with L- and S-band reference. However, with Ka and Ku band present in many traditional GSO satellites, we are also looking into this case. The higher frequencies will require a bigger antenna. We will be happy to support you with understanding and assessing exact requirements and potential use cases.

Is 5G NB-IoT not more suitable for NGSOs than GSOs?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

The 5G NTN standard is working with two different satellite configurations – the 1) Transparent mode, and 2) Regenerative mode.

The 3GPP 5G standardization group has started with the specification of the transparent mode in Rel-17, where the regenerative mode is planned for future releases. The transparent mode fits to both GEO and NGSO satellites.

The standard also looks into the supported frequencies. E.g. the higher the frequency, the more challenges are expected for the performance, as the frequency influences the antenna size. If you want to assess how your satellite set-up is suitable for supporting 5G NB-IoT, please contact us.

How does the 5G NB-IoT software protocol differ for NGSO and GSO satellites?

Category: 5G NTN Technical

Major differences are on the satellites´ infrastructure. One example is the different location of the NodeB functionality.

For help in assessing how your satellite system set-up can support 5G NB-IoT connectivity, please do contact us.

Can your simulator be used by cellular operators to find out which satellite gives good coverage and capacity in a specific location?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

The feasibility study allows for ascertaining system level KPIs (Sytem capacity, UE QoS (Throughput, latency) and UE energy consumption. This is done on the basis of the scenario definition – so it is indeed possible to define a specific geographic area, say the Himalayas and ascertain the performance of a Cell or a UE in that location.

Which use cases for 5G NB-IoT would work best for GEO vs non-GEO sats?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

The use-case would be delay-tolerant applications for both LEO and GEO and GEO has the advantage of providing terrestrial-like cells while LEO has the advantage of providing global (discontinuous) coverage and a lower propagation delay. It is cheaper to launch satellites into LEO than GEO, so typically a GEO payload can be more expensive and justify an increased power budget compared to LEO satellite payloads. The new space-race with cube-sats is especially allowing for low-cost LEO payloads to be launched.

When can we expect commercial devices rollout for direct satellite communication?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

With Rel-17 being released in mid 2022, UE software will be commercially available shortly thereafter. Then it depends on chipset companies to have chipsets supporting non-terrestrial networks. Adaptations are not expected to be major, but they need to be done. And the question is when chipset companies see a market in the 5G NB-IoT NTN technology. We expect that it is only a matter of time, as companies are publishing trials as we speak.

What devices are required to adopt the system and what is the cost?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

It is expected that standard, off-the-shelf chipsets will be used, alongside with standard NB-IoT supporting devices which we know from terrestrial networks today. The 5G NB-IoT for space needs to be able to run on them, which will be enabled by supporting chipsets. As we are not a chipset company, we cannot say anything in regards to the costs. But similar costs to TN supporting chipsets are expected.

When do you recommend start looking into 5G?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

With Rel-17 released in mid 2022, we recommend looking into 5G as soon as possible. Based on this timeline, software protocols for the UE and the satellite side will be available for first lab tests and proof of concepts shortly thereafter, until they are expected to be commercially available in mid 23. We recommend using the time until then, to understand your system set-up and requirements, and the time for testing and proofing the concept within your infrastructure, so that you are ready when Rel-17 can be implemented into commercial systems.

When will terminals be available? / Are there indications for market adoption? Do you know if UE modem manufacturers already announced chips that support Rep-17 for NTN use cases?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

With 3GPP Release 17 standards for development of user terminals are available. Several enterprises in user terminal supply chain like GateHouse SatCom have been active in the standardization work and are quite advanced in their product offerings. However, the exact timing will be balanced with demand and priorities. And of course the availability of satellite networks supporting the release 17 Non-terrestrial services. GateHouse SatCom is not aware of any chipsets currently supporting 3GPP Release 17 NTN services.

What projects and studies have you done for satellite 5G NB-IoT?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

We are contributing to the 3GPP standardization group as an active member. ESA projects, together with other NTN players, are another important success ingredient for us.

We have conducted lab- and In-Orbit-demonstrations (IoD) for LEO satellites, and have a planned GSO IoD with ESA and another LEO IoD early 2022.

How does Satcom’s software differ from what other players are doing within 5G NB-IoT?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

We have a long history developing protocols for the SatCom industry, and we have a vast experience with the complexities that communication via satellite connectivity include.

We are part of the 3GPP standardization group developing the 5G standards and we bring our understanding of satellite connectivity to the 3GPP work.

Furthermore, we offer assessments of future 5G satellite systems for Satellite Service providers to help push 5G technology to the market.

When is the 5G NB-IoT waveform (NodeB) ready?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

We are developing the 5G NB-IoT software as part of the official 3GPP standardization group. This means that the NodeB will be commercially available adhering to the standardization´s timeline. This is the beginning of 2024 (for Rel. 18 – for regenerative mode). Rel.17 (transparent mode) will already be commercially available by mid 2022.

To be ready when 5G NB-IoT kicks off officially, we recommend reviewing your system set-up and satellite fleet already today. We will be happy to guide you through that.

How can I as a ground station infrastructure provider support 5G NB-IoT services for satellites?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

Your ground station infrastructure needs edge computing capabilities to support 5G. For more details, please reach out to us.

How do Gatehouse Satcom help satellite operators realize their 5G strategy?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

We help satellite operators understand if and how their system set-up can support 5G NB-IoT, with our background in satcom software and integration knowledge. Because our goal is to make our customer´s 5G strategy a success.

We do this by jointly designing an individual pre-assessment or feasibility study based on the operator's individual needs and system set-up. The goal is to verify the viability of supporting 5G NB-IoT, and to calculate the system capacity and business case for example.

For this, we bring in our expertise for simulations of the link budget, and the assessment of the system capabilities. Pilot projects are also on our agenda, with the goal to develop a commercial 5G NB-IoT system for satellite operators.

Should I wait looking into 5G NB-IoT, until the standard is commercially available?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

It all depends on your business strategy. If the IoT market, especially with devices that only send small amounts of data (Narrowband-IoT) could be an interesting asset to your service portfolio, we recommend lookng into 5G NB-IoT already today.

The reason for this is that it takes some time until you have analyzed your system set-up – to understand any requirements or changes (e.g. for designing a new satellite fleet, or how to adjust your current ones) that you need to realize your 5G strategy.

We recommend starting with this today, to make sure you are ready, once the 5G market takes off. We will be happy to support you with your system assessment.

When will the 5G NB-IoT standard be available?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

According to the standardization group´s timeline, the complete 5G NB-IoT standard will be commercially available by the beginning of 2024 (for Rel. 18 – regenerative mode). Rel.17 (transparent mode) will already be commercially available by mid-2022.

What does the expected market for 5G NB-IoT look like – what are the use cases?

Category: 5G NTN Commercial

The 5G NB-IoT NTN market is expected to be in the area of half a billion of connected devices. These NTN services are expected in all verticals, which include IoT devices which send small amounts of data and that need connectivity even in the remotest areas.

The need for 5G NB-IoT NTN can range from public services verticals (e.g. rescue), to logistics, agriculture, oil and gas or mining.​

Conrete use cases could be for example​ (1) emergency cars entering remote areas, which still need to communicate with the hospital​, (2) connected cars, or logistics on land, telling you when a container would arrive​, (3) IoT sensors in a farm, measuring fertilizer levels and thereby ensuring a smart supply chain​, or (4) sensors to monitor oil pipelines and continuously send small amounts of data for control.

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