Avanti Communications Group plc, a leading provider of satellite data communications services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has announces the award of a €8.3million Horizon 2020 5G Research & Innovation contract to integrate satcom as an intrinsic part of 5G networks and testbed demonstrations across Europe. The project will research, develop and validate key technologies required to enable the plug-and-play integration of satellite communications into 5G networks. The project will trial and assess these through live testbed demonstrations across Europe.
The SaT5G consortium consists of 16 partners including Thales Alenia Space France, University of Surrey, SES, Airbus Defence and Space, OneAccess, TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek), British Telecommunications, Zodiac Inflight Innovations, Broadpeak, VT iDirect, imec , i2CAT Foundation, University of Oulu and Quortus. The project will also see participation from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), SMEs and research centres with expertise in cellular network operation, architecture design, network management, business modelling, security, content multicast and caching. The 30month project is starting in June 2017 and is funded by the European Commission under the 5G PPP Phase 2 of the Horizon 2020 programme for Research & Innovation.
The goal of the project is to deliver the seamless, and economically viable, integration of satellite into 5G networks to ensure ubiquitous 5G access everywhere. The project has identified a range of primary research areas to address the integration of satellite into 5G networks, which include, extending 5G security to satellite and multicast for content distribution. Each research area will deliver outputs and benefits in relation to 5G ecosystem stakeholders. Live demonstrations and validations will take place at the testbeds for the project which are located in the UK, Germany and Finland. The project will also drive standardisation, mainly in 3GPP and ETSI, contributing to the definition of the 5G system and integration of satellite communications.
David Williams, Chief Executive of Avanti, said: “Avanti already leads the world in mission critical 4G satellite backhaul through its $29m contract with EE for the Emergency Services Network. We are proud to be leading the SaT5G project, with great players in the industry, to ensure the integration of satellite communications effectively into the future 5G architecture. Satellite communication systems will support the ubiquity, resilience and efficiency of 5G services; and open markets by offering exciting new business opportunities in media distribution, transport and underserved areas. 5G is the future and we are pleased to be making progress to ensure Avanti is 5G ready.”