GVF Cellular Backhaul 2017 and exploring convergence in satellite and wireless

Cellular Backhaul: ‘Smartphones & Tablets to the Satellite Network... and the World’, the latest of the GVF-EMP, one day, roundtable-style conferences to explore the current interaction between the satellite and wireless industries, the current and future growth of data traffic from mobile devices and how that will impact both cellular and satellite networks, will take place at London’s Strand Palace Hotel on 22nd June 2017.

Martin Jarrold, Chief of International Programme Development with GVF commented, “This will be the second event in the GVF Cellular Backhaul series, with the programme having again attracted panellists from key players at the interface of the satellite communications and cellular ecosystems.” Paul Stahl, Executive Director of EMP added, “The event is designed to investigate where the satellite and wireless industries stand today, the optimisation of satellite services into the mobile ecosystem now and in a 5G future, the evolution of ground equipment, infrastructure and systems, and how to profit from key regional markets in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.”

Included in the list of organisations speaking in the programme are (in alphabetical order): Advantech Wireless, Agilis, Avanti Communications, Comtech EF Data, Eutelsat, Gilat Satellite Networks, Hughes, iDirect, Innovate UK, Integrasys, IP Access, Isotropic Systems, Satellite Applications Catapult, SES, SiRRAN Communications, and Talia.

The conference – which is sponsored by Hughes, Inmarsat, SES, Advantech Wireless, Gilat Satellite Networks, and Comtech EF Data – will be chaired by David Howgill, President of Huckworthy and co-moderated by Richard Swardh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Networks Operators with Comtech EF Data, and Martin Jarrold, Chief, International Programme Development, GVF.

Mr Howgill noted, “This year's GVF-EMP Cellular Backhaul conference will continue to track the market evolution foreseen by the programme over the past few years; with a strong focus on the relationship between the satellite and mobile/cellular wireless industries, how the technologies are evolving to allow the two industries to leverage each other more than ever, and real life examples on where and how operators are profiting from these advances. Cellular Backhaul is poised to once again be a primary enabler for the mobile/cellular and satellite industries to work together.”

Commenting further, Mr Jarrold noted that, enhanced convergence of cellular and satellite networks has been urged, for example, by the European Commission which has “…encouraged the [communications] communities to jointly develop standards so that new high-throughput [satellite] is developed with the same 5G standards in mind as the terrestrial systems, and this has also been supported by the European Space Agency, which has had a role in the activities of the 5G-PPP, managed by the EC for the public side, and the 5G Association for the private side. HTS should be an integrated part of the 5G architecture and final system, and complement the terrestrial technologies…”

The Cellular Backhaul Programme

The GVF Cellular Backhaul 2017 programme will feature four interactive panel sessions, the first of which will feature discussion on Tales of Bandwidth, Latency, Spectrum and the Future, centred on such discussion points as – LTE, 3G and 2G networks over satellite. What is the state of play today? – Satellite services operate across multiple HTS and traditional architectures (e.g. FSS, MSS, GEO-HTS, non-GEO-HTS) so is there a “right architecture” for 4G LTE and 5G in the future? – The latency debate – The future of the telecom landscape – and, Future spectrum use.

For panel session 2, Optimising Satellite Services into the Mobile Ecosystem today, and for a 5G future: “Traditional” Telecom (Voice, Video, Data), Streaming, Social Media, CDNs & the IoT will examine such key questions as – From a services aspect, is satellite a niche adjunct to the wireless market of the future, or an embedded core component of a wider network? – How can the satellite industry expand the addressable backhaul market? – and, What are wireless carriers looking for from the satellite industry?

The panel session 3 focus will be on How Satellite Equipment and Infrastructure have Evolved to Support Accelerated 3G and 4G LTE Mobile Network Rollouts, Optimise Bandwidth and Traffic, and Enable a Scalable Global 5G Future. The points of investigation will centre around such themes as – Like the wireless industry, the satellite industry is operated from a mixture of standards based and carrier specific solutions. Is proprietary satellite hardware, infrastructure and ground technology fully compatible with carrier infrastructure or is it a custom integration every time? – How has satellite infrastructure and hardware evolved to facilitate 3G and 4G networks, and how does this ready us for 5G and IoT? – How can and will the respective cyber security imperatives, platforms, and strategies of satellite and mobile wireless technologies be integrated to function on a pan-networking level? – and, Optimising solutions for media content - traffic acceleration, cache of popular content, prioritisation; how do we go about it? What can satcom learn from terrestrial backhaul, and vice-versa?

Closing the day, session 4 will take a regional focus, looking at Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia ... How to Profit from Satellite in the Hottest Markets. The panel dialogue will address such points as – High pricing and limited bandwidth historically made satellites unappealing to wireless carriers, in all but the most challenging of geographic areas. Has that changed? How? – Where is the growth that the cellular industry finds hardest/most costly to rollout? Does it match the satellite industry’s bandwidth availability? – How do both industries address the contrasts of the markets: some countries deploying 4G LTE while others are still deploying 2G? – Will the characteristics of the growth of the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications market, and the characteristics of the projected exponential expansion in the internet-of-things (IoT) be uniform across the world, or will regional differences impact on the nature of demand for mobile wireless over satellite? – and, Connecting remote villages and meeting the ICT4SDG goals, how can satellite help?


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