Airbus to Develop Beyond-5G Space-based InfrastructureBy Sofía Hanna | Tue, 10/05/2021 - 17:37
Satellite communications are an indispensable part of the global telecommunications ecosystem. Airbus is complementing these technologies with 5G terrestrial mobile networks that will help the telecommunications market further expand into new areas such as hybrid networks and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Airbus Defence and Space and its partners Fraunhofer IIS, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Bundeswehr University Munich and Eurescom GmbH have developed an initiative to study the delivery of standards-based 5G and beyond 5G communication services in a space-based infrastructure. “The consortium will propose a non-terrestrial network (NTN) infrastructure and deployment scenarios to deliver advanced communication services in a timely and cost-efficient manner. In addition, it will focus on the preparation of a future Satcom technology roadmap in line with the emerging 6G concepts in order for an NTN to play an even greater role in offering global connectivity," said Airbus in a press release.
According to the official announcement, the study is expected to be completed by mid-2022 and lead to the development of concepts for 5G space-based infrastructure, recommendations for technology and demonstration roadmaps and associated deployment and procurement models.
The project aims to consolidate requirements to support a variety of industries and consumers, in agreement with industry stakeholders and regulators. It will also define overall system architecture and system convergence and integration with 5G and beyond 5G terrestrial networks. The project will also elaborate roadmaps that support the development, validation and implementation of the proposed architecture. Finally, the study will define services that support several industries over the mid and long term.
The study is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA, which is also looking for "a vision of how a 5G and beyond-5G space-based infrastructure can provide services for consumers and industries that deliver performance, reliability, resilience and security.”
This is only one of Airbus’s satellite-based communication projects. Months ago, Airbus announced a project to improve the connection to OneWeb-powered high-speed, low-latency broadband that will help achieve global connectivity. The company has repeatedly mentioned the importance of developing better connectivity and the use of technologies such as 5G to develop zero-emission aircraft, support a cleaner industry and work towards the 2030 sustainable goals, as mentioned by MBN.