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Keeping Satellite in the 5G Game

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EKINOPS explores the intersection between virtualization, 5G and satellite communications, highlighting how a recent technology breakthrough will deliver additional value for satcom providers, CSPs and end-users alike.

5GPP, the EU body charged with establishing global consensus on the use of 5G, has been making strong progress in defining how the new connectivity standard can support a rapidly growing range of future use cases. Telecom operators, who will be required to make huge investments in replacing masts, antennas, base stations and other equipment to support 5G, are happy to wait for the body to publish its specifications. Satcom providers, however, are not. As things currently stand, satcom is not part of the 5G game and, as a result, its equipment and service providers risk being elbowed out of use-cases for which satellite is today’s de-facto choice.

From a commercial perspective, communication service providers (CSPs) know that their ability to support all types of network links gives them the flexibility to deliver bespoke solutions that maximise value for their customers. To this end, harmonising satellite with 5G makes a lot of sense, particularly where the technology can augment 5G services.

The range of situations that favour a satcom/5G solution is bigger than one might think, and extends beyond the infrequent, high bandwidth requirements of native satcom broadcasting, live sports stadium feeds and news broadcasting. Satellite also has a valuable role to play in areas where 5G networks have limited coverage, allowing 5G traffic backhauling to remote areas, for example, and complementing ‘slow’ terrestrial links thanks to multi-link technology and connections to mobile vehicles and planes.

Fortunately, this argument has already been recognised within 5GPP, and has given rise to SaT5G, an H2020 European Research project with the objective of designing next generation standards that make satcom 5G-friendly. The group is developing a cost-effective ‘plug and play’ satcom solution for 5G to enable operators and network vendors to accelerate 5G deployment in all geographies and, at the same time, create new and growing market opportunities for satcom industry stakeholders.

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Diverse Reality - A View from the MWC 2017 Walkway

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MWC is the biggest Telecoms event in the world and most of us were expecting the big theme this year to be 5G. Whilst 5G was present on many stands, it was upstaged by both a faster type of 4G and a phone from the past. The other takeaway from Barcelona’s mega tradefest was the huge diversity of people, exhibitors and themes on show. ‘Mobility’ may have been a connecting theme but only in the broadest sense.

Here are my impressions:

 Back to the Past

Samsung executives looked on aghast as Nokia, the European has-been of mobile phones stole the show with its latest or should I say throwback phone – the 3310. With 22 hours of talk-time and up to a month’s standby time and even a made-over Snake game, those of us that carry two or more portable battery chargers to get through the day couldn’t resist a nostalgic smile.

Gigabit LTE versus 5G

5G was on show on numerous devices but plastered over the billboards was the promise and reality of Gigabit LTE. Based on 4G technology and 4x4 MIMO, Gigabit-LTE is here, or at least it is in Australia we are told – other operators soon to launch. Expect only about 60Mb/s of real-life performance though.

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Latest News

  • EKINOPS completes the acquisition of OTN technology from Padtec

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of telecommunications solutions for telecom operators, today completes the acquisition of the OTN-Switch (Optical Transport Network) platform developed by Padtec, an optical communications system manufacturer based in Brazil.

     
  • A record 2nd quarter with sequential growth of 17%. H1 2019: revenue of €45 million and expected improvement in EBITDA margin

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of telecommunications solutions for telecom operators, has published its revenue for the second quarter of 2019.

     
  • EKINOPS Launches Channel Partner Program in EMEA and APAC

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of optical transport equipment and router solutions, today announces the launch of the EKINOPS Channel Partner Program (ECPP). The program has been designed to support value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators to differentiate in the market by providing them with the opportunity to build, sell and deliver solutions tailored to their customer needs, while still benefitting from the Ekinops’ extensive knowledge, resources and expertise.

     

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