In Blog

Bob Horton
Director and Principal
Horton Consulting

By Bob Horton

Satellites–both geostationary and non-geostationary–can and will play important roles in supporting the key 5G usage scenarios, and for the same reasons satellite has been important for 2G, 3G and 4G: the need for efficient multicast distribution of commonly accessed content to data caches located at each cell and small cell.

Such point-to-multipoint distribution has been identified as one of the satellite “sweet spots” in the global 5G ecosystem. IoT is also an area where complementary satellite solutions have an important role.

IoT requires almost perfect coverage but with cheap bit rates and a new revenue model for carriers.

Notably, most 5G use cases do not have the extreme bandwidth and/or latency requirements that will only be supported by future 5G terrestrial technologies. As a result, satellites–both geostationary and non-geostationary–can and will play important roles in supporting the key 5G usage scenarios.

Both 5G and IoT are likely to benefit from new methods of sharing spectrum, as well.

Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) spectrum sharing is fundamental to effective spectrum management and a key tool in maximizing the benefits achieved through use of the spectrum resource.

Traditionally, spectrum sharing has largely focused on static approaches that establish coexistence arrangements defined through fixed geographic and spectral boundaries. It has been far less common to use dynamic spectrum sharing approaches that take advantage of time-based changes in spectrum usage and therefore availability.

DSA relies on the ability of secondary users to be aware of their environment in order to maximise spectrum efficiency.