Sattelite communication services will be significant for the success of 5G connectivity in India, according to Broadband India Forum (BIF).
BIF, the policy forum and think-tank for digital transformation and broadband proliferation in the country, hosted a session of The Digital Dialogues on the theme of ‘Satcom & 5G – The Final Frontier’.
A BIF White Paper on Satellites for 5G & Rural Connectivity was also released during the session.
BIF President T.V. Ramachandran said: “Satellite communication will play a significant role in 5G and beyond, and with future integration into emerging technology standards, it will arise as part of the mainstream, besides continuing to play its role as a complementary solution for ubiquitous coverage, emergency/disaster recovery and remote rural areas connectivity.”
“Conservative estimates show that since we need 2 TB for backhaul capacity alone, based on the present availability, we need almost 20x the capacity to meet the requirement, thus outlining the immense potential opportunities ahead for the Satcom sector.”
Various futuristic use cases in aerospace, maritime, agriculture, IoT, among others beckon satellite networks to be fully leveraged, to derive optimum benefits in onjunction with 5G. There is a crucial need for standardisation of universal interfaces between ground stations and satellites, as well as use of consumer terminals across different networks, to improve affordability of Satcom, Ramachandran added.
Cellular backhaul over satellite enables mobile network operators (MNOs) to expand their coverage into geographic areas previously considered economically and feasibly beyond their reach, without much delays.
Billions of monitoring systems as part of IoT, will be connected to the 5G ecosystem using sensors and devices (M2M), and in many instances connected via satellites through enhanced bandwidth and power efficient terminals.
Satellites provide a wide coverage to complement and extend the dense urban terrestrial coverage targeted by 5G. Further, satellites will support a resilient 5G network to mitigate the problems of overload/congestion faced by terrestrial networks, he said.
Enhancements in Satcom will help put the end-users in the driving seat through improved user experience and availability of a plethora of applications. This will help provide added utility and convenience for the consumers, more so in conjunction with 5G in the near future.