The 5G Standard

Satellite technology of the year

Mar 20, 2024

The recipients of a major Satellite award have acknowledged the efforts of the 3GPP members and delegates on NTN specifications.

The ‘3GPP NTN Standards’ selection as satellite technology of the year was determined by a public vote combined with the votes of the ‘Via Satellite’ publication’s editorial board. The standards proposal was announced as winner during the SATELLITE 2024 conference in Washington this week.

Via Satellite had selected a short list of five nominees demonstrating innovative new technologies.

The ‘3GPP NTN Standards’ nomination cited the proactive engagement of the satellite industry with 3GPP and other forums to ensure that satellite technologies can be fully integrated into the 5G ecosystem. “These efforts have resulted in a major breakthrough: the successful expansion and adaptation of the 3GPP standards to incorporate non-terrestrial networks (NTN) starting with Release 17. Critical enhancements include adaptation for satellite latency and doppler effects, carefully defined to support a wide range of network deployment scenarios and orbits, terminal types (handheld, IoT, vehicle mounted), frequency bands, and beam types (Earth fixed/Earth moving), and sizes.” 

The nomination highlights how the addition of satellite to the technology mix for 5G has been a major plus for both the satellite and mobile networks. “The standards enable full interoperability between satellite and terrestrial including mobility procedures across both network components, allowing mass-market smartphones and IoT devices to connect seamlessly with both terrestrial mobile networks and NTN-based satellite networks when out of range of terrestrial connectivity. Leveraging the mobile industry economies of scale that come with being part of the 3GPP ecosystem, the new NTN standards will ensure that connectivity can be available to anyone, anywhere in the world.”

The 3GPP community congratulated the award winners during the 3GPP TSGs#103 this week, in the Dutch city of Maastricht, recognising the role of the 3GPP Market Partner Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA) in providing critical insights on business requirements and market needs for the standard.

The ‘Via Satellite’ publication lists all of this year’s nominations.

More to come

Continuing the work in 3GPP, enhancements for Release 18 will optimize satellite access performance and new capabilities and services to “further broaden and deepen the menu of options for satellite to play an increasingly central role in global communications in 5G and beyond.”

Sources: Via Satellite (

UPDATED March 22, to remove specific company names, as not all companies participating in the work were mentioned. Apologies to all concerned. KF.