According to space industry delegates in the latest Fieldfisher webinar, 5G/satellite integration will be the most significant opportunity in satellite connectivity in the next 5 – 10 years.Drawn from the space industry across the UK, Europe, the US and round the world, the audience firmly signalled that 5G integration opportunities are top of the list, even ahead of broadband. Combining the strengths of 5G mobile and satellite applications can deliver the mobility which so many business and consumer users require across multiple platforms, with higher data rates and lower latency.
Broadband and IOT/M2M also found widespread support, reflecting the growing demand for connectivity across varying applications and market segments.
However, our industry expert panellists commented that ground segment innovation deserves more attention than is reflected in our poll. Recognising the value which "ground segment as a service" models and innovative user terminals can bring, the panel agreed that ground segment innovation will be integral to the connectivity services of the future.
Drilling down into some of the challenges for satellite connectivity brought some interesting insights:
Availability of spectrum topped the leader board of major obstacles for satcoms, according to industry delegates. With the ongoing pressures on efficient use of spectrum, the panellists flagged the challenges in the regulatory processes as a major issue, both at ITU level and among national regulators. Concerns included the difficulties in achieving a consistent coverage of licences, with the risk of some national regulators adopting less than transparent licensing policies or expecting market access rights fees which could make the service uneconomic.
Our thanks go to our panel of: Rhys Morgan, Regional Vice President, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, Intelsat; Kjell-Ove Skare, Program Director, Space Norway; Chris McIntosh, CEO, Methera Global Communications; and Andrew Davies, President, Stellar Solutions Aerospace, for their insights.
Chair of the webinar, John Worthy, partner and head of Satellite and Space Projects at Fieldfisher, commented: "Drawing on the results of these polls, we can expect to see a closer and more dynamic relationship between satellite operators and MNOs over the coming years. Alongside the positive opportunities from satellite/mobile integration, delegates flagged competition from terrestrial mobile as a significant challenge, plus the pressures on spectrum availability. So we can anticipate a new and interesting balance between competition and collaboration among the satellite and terrestrial mobile sectors."
Look out for details of the next Fieldfisher Space Business webinar soon.
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