Groups Tout Inclusion of Nonterrestrial Networks in 3GPP Release 17
Wednesday, February 05, 2020 | Comments

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance in collaboration with members of the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) touted the development of nonterrestrial networks (NTNs) as Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) enhances 5G to support nonterrestrial access in the Release 17 work program.

The groups said they demonstrated to 3GPP that space-based networks provide an effective alternative for network connection beyond traditional deployment methods, especially in rural areas.

“It was a great achievement to make an impact on 3GPP’s decision to include NTN in the Release 17 work program through the NGMN Alliance NTN Position Paper, which demonstrates technological integration between terrestrial and nonterrestrial networks to significantly progress the extension of network coverage,” said Sebastien Jeux (Orange), lead of NGMN Extreme Long Range Communication for Deep Rural Coverage project.

The paper highlights the requirement for mobile network operators (MNOs) to integrate space-based systems into their networks. Integrating space-based systems with existing terrestrial networks enables mobile network operators to overcome the challenge of signal quality and roaming capabilities in underserved areas.

In the 5G world, terrestrial and nonterrestrial networks will further complement each other including using integrated 5G direct satellite access to conventional smartphones to deliver superior coverage to users, the groups said.

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