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Joint ESA & 5G-MAG Workshop “Reinventing Satellite Broadcasting for the 5G Era"

“Reinventing Satellite Broadcasting for the 5G era” proposes an interactive workshop aimed at fostering the discussion between satellite, terrestrial infrastructure and service providers, media and other verticals representatives, in order to address the requirements and potential solutions for evolved media distribution, 5G satellite systems and service delivery chains.

Joint ESA & 5G-MAG Workshop “Reinventing Satellite Broadcasting for the 5G Era”

1st December 2021 – 10:00 to 16:30 CET


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Summary of the Workshop

Antonio Franchi (ESA) and Antonio Arcidiacono (5G-MAG Chair) presented their perspectives on the role that satellites can play in the distribution of content and how 5G can enable the necessary technology (r)evolution to deliver new services, improve existing ones, and create new opportunities both for the satellite industry and for end users.

ESA is committed to support the satellite industry in following the necessary steps to achieve this ambition.

5G-MAG is brings together the ICT and media industry to pursue the necessary steps towards making technology a reality beyond standards.

"Future trends in media distribution and the role of satellite", from Arthur D. Little, kicked-off the first session of the workshop with its main focus on content. Three key challenges identified: retention of large viewership content, delivery of non-linear and interactive content, reach of devices beyond the traditional screen; and three key strength of satellites: ubiquitous coverage, cost effectiveness to reach large audiences and control of QoS, set the scene to propose new opportunities for satellites such as the distribution of 8K content, immersive experiences, content distribution to vehicles and distribution to CDNs/edge servers.

Speakers from EBU, Globecast, SWR and Varnish Software followed. The main take-aways are:

  • EBU: Opportunity to use satellite for more than broadcast and more than traditional linear TV. An integration of satellite distribution within on-line media to directly provide content to end-users either at home or on vehicles, or to anyone by means of content caching at CDN servers, possibly with a decentralized architecture.

  • Globecast: Unifying satellite and digital worlds enabled by the capabilities of a new generation of satellite infrastructure. Two clear targets: integrate 5G capabilities for uplink contribution over satellite; and the 5G Broadcast (r)evolution leveraging technologies of the 5G ecosystem such as MEC or slicing.

  • SWR: More than just radio, creating new audio experiences for the connected car with a high degree of personalization is the proposition from SWR Audio Lab. The 5GMedia2Go project proposes the use of broadcast infrastructure and 5G Broadcast to deliver linear media into the car while making use of 5G connectivity for delivering the Mediathek and its on-line service offer. 5G into a private network for production is also in their radar.

  • Varnish: Software is the key content delivery with virtualized 5G CDN solutions powered by edge computing capabilities. 5G satellite could offer a direct path for content caching.

"Collaboration Opportunities with 5G Media Streaming", from Qualcomm, opened the second session focused on the 5G Media ecosystem. 5G Media Streaming is being developed in 3GPP as the baseline architecture for media content distribution supporting different collaboration scenarios among stakeholders, the distribution of new media formats and the advanced use of network functionalities. The 5G Broadcast story sets an example on how the media industry can engage with 3GPP. However, though creating specifications is key, additional efforts are needed to build the ecosystem, reference implementations, proof-of-concepts, etc. The 5G-MAG Reference Tools, as an example. Be patient and persistent, stay excited!

Speakers from Thales, SES, Eutelsat and Novelsat followed. The main take-aways are:

  • Thales: Direct to the key fundamental questions: from broadcast service to broadcast mode; how to integrate satellite broadcast/broadband? How is the migration to 3GPP enabled? The deployment options are broad depending on the use cases and the considerations in terms of terminals, satellite ground infrastructure and space segment.

  • SES: No longer just GEO? A combination of different satellite constellations opens new opportunities for distributing content. New satellites adapted to IP Media delivery are the opportunity to migrate from traditional TS video into the data/video space. 5G creates the favorable conditions for satellite multicast into the on-line ecosystem.

  • Eutelsat: On the distribution side The traditional commercial model of Satellite Capacity as a Commodity need to evolve in favor of a new architecture where Satellite Connectivity becomes a Network Slice orchestrated by a Network Core assigning network resources (including satellite) “transparently” to the user.

  • Novelsat: Everybody wants 5G Video but the problem is end-to-end unicast. Congestion (and throttling) ends up in poor video quality. 5G opens up access connectivity but backhaul capacity per end site may require huge investment. Broadcast-only is neither the solution; edge distribution combining broadcast/multicast and unicast (from an edge CDN node) may be the right tool.

"Non-Terrestrial Network, from technology radar into the car", from BMW Group, opened the last session of the workshop focused on the user device. A very clear roadmap from technology scouting to reality was presented highlighting the NTN case; an analysis of the space ecosystem, the services and the use cases to bring them to the end user are in the roadmap of the automotive industry. 5G offers connectivity into vehicles enabling use cases such as autonomous driving, safety, infotainment and entertainment. On the latter, the focus may be on augmented reality for driver information, high quality video conferencing, in-vehicle streaming with 4k/8k videos or the car as a gaming platform.

Speakers from Airbus, VirginMediaO2, Satixfy and Thales, SES, Eutelsat and ST Engineering followed. The main take-aways are:

  • Airbus: NTN Satellite Broadcast as an opportunity to deliver content (and not necessarily just media) with service continuity, ubiquitous coverage and scalability. But, how much interaction/bi-directional communication is needed? Direct access using NR, Redcap or NB-IoT are a key combination to address different types of UE. Regenerative satellite payloads are enablers to fully benefit from the strength of satellites in the 5G era.

  • VirginMediaO2: From how architectures look today, to how they can look in the short and mid-term. The initial focus on satellite and terrestrial network convergence has been put on backhaul services based on non-3GPP technologies combining data paths by means of network gateways. The N3IWF (Non-3GPP Interworking Function) opens the door to connect non-3GPP radio access into the 5G network. In a latter stage the complete chain may be NTN-based with NR as radio technology fully embed into the 5G architecture.

  • Satixfy: Devices, antennas and terminals are the key elements to make 5G satellite reception on any platform, from aeronautics and cars to residential user terminals. The adoption of software-defined radio technologies offer a smooth and flexible path to adapt to the different needs and configuration options for satellite and mobility applications.

  • ST Engineering: The focus is on OTT delivery integrating the satellite into the distribution chain to expand on services and use cases (video, learning, maritime entertainment, connected cars, etc). Satellite, with native IP technologies and multicast can enable the distribution of OTT media content to end users by getting satellite content into the 5G network.



  • Welcome from ESA Antonio Franchi (ESA) Download Presentation Slides (not yet available)

  • Welcome from 5G-MAG Antonio Arcidiacono (5G-MAG Chair) Download Presentation Slides

  • Keynote: Future trends in media distribution and the role of satellite Matteo Ainardi (Arthur D. Little) Download Presentation Slides

  • Set of Presentations in Session 1 "Take the Floor!" Bram Tullemans (EBU), Samy Nicolas Bouchalat (Globecast), C.Hufnagel/R. Beutler (SWR), Irene Lundin (Varnish) Download Presentation Slides

  • Keynote: Collaboration opportunities with 5G Media Streaming Thomas Stockhammer (Qualcomm) Download Presentation Slides

  • Set of Presentations in Session 2 "Take the Floor!" Nicolas Chuberre (Thales), Jean-Pierre Choffray (SES), Cristiano Benzi (Eutelsat), Aviv Ronai (Novelsat) Download Presentation Slides

  • Keynote: NTN - from technology radar into the car Oliver Wick - BMW Group Download Presentation Slides

  • Set of Presentations in Session 3 "Take the Floor!" Helmut Zaglauer (Airbus GmbH), Zoran Spasojevic (VirginmediaO2), Thierry Abraham (Satixfy), H. Massart/S.Hassanaly (ST Engineering) Download Presentation Slides


Join this Workshop on the 1st December 2021 - 10:00 - 16:30 CET

This is an on-line event.

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About ESA

Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate of ESA created the strategic programme Line ‘ARTES 4.0 Space for 5G/6G’ to enable SatCom stakeholders to integrate space in 5G and to fulfil the 5G/6G promises to deliver connectivity and services to everyone, anytime, anywhere. Media represent one of the most important industrial sectors akin to the use of Satellite for the delivery of their services. SatCom upstream and downstream industry derives high percentage of their revenues from media services and partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

About 5G-MAG

5G-MAG is a cross-industry association bridging the global media and ICT industries. 5G-MAG members are drawn from the entire value chain and work together to understand, shape and implement future technologies for media production, contribution and distribution.

Collaboration of ESA and 5G-MAG targets the full integration of satellite in 5G ecosystem; to avoid risk of segregation the exploitation of full spectrum of future media technologies, equipment and satellite systems that need to develop. With such proactive action we aim to act as catalyser to accelerate developments of 5G/6G satellite solutions in collaboration with the ecosystem build up around 5G-MAG community and drive the inclusion of satellite solutions in a timely fashion.


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