The Sat5G project demonstrates how 5G communications can be transmitted over satellite for future maritime applications
Fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications delivered over satellite are set to benefit the maritime industry as demonstrated in trials by the SaT5G project. The organisations behind SaT5G unveiled their demonstrators during a European conference on networks and communications in Valencia, Spain.
Satellites were used for 5G applications for multiple global industries, some of which have applicable benefits in maritime.
SaT5G project director Indran Sivarajah says the trials will lead to 5G networks being developed worldwide to improve connectivity.
“We want to build an attractive plug-and-play satellite communications solution with 5G for telecommunications companies and network vendors to accelerate 5G deployment and at the same time create new and growing market opportunities for the industry,” he said.
One demonstration carried out by Avanti, the University of Surrey and VT iDirect proved that 5G over satellite can be used for video streaming.
This highlighted how a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) proxy can incorporate bit-rate adaptation, link selection and enhance layered video streams for future satellite networks.
Video is streamed over Avanti’s geostationary satellite Hylas 4 and processed at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre testbed network and iDirect’s 5G-enabled satellite hub platform and terminals.
The same partners are involved in another SaT5G demonstrator which is verifying how live media content channels can be multicast in a 5G system over satellite to multiple iDirect 5G terminals.
This is similar to techniques for distributing media and training content to fleets of ships worldwide. During this trial, live media channels from Broadpeak’s content delivery network was delivered using a MEC platform and Hylas 4.
A similar trial is underway using SES’s high-throughput O3b medium Earth orbit satellite constellation and Gilat Satellite Networks’ Taurus VSAT unit.
Another test programme involves improving the backhaul of 5G mobile data, video and content required for delivering large volumes of ship information to shore-based operating centres.
This uses an established satellite and terrestrial backhaul link and a user function at an MEC node for content delivery. This node handles requests for content and selects satellite or terrestrial links depending on available capacity, network policy, link performance and end-user profile.