Satellite Communications (SatCom) providers and terrestrial communication providers (telcos) have evolved and coexisted for decades. Telcos, which manage increasingly complex and software-defined core and Radio Access Networks (RANs) that connect our everyday lives, have evolved to 5G to generate worldwide economic and digital transformation.
However, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) estimated that around 45% of the world’s population, about 3.6 billion people, remained unconnected in 2022. To fill this gap, SatCom operators, which manage fleets of hundreds to thousands of increasingly powerful satellites in geocentric orbit, coordinate with ground stations located around Earth to deliver connectivity to consumers, small businesses, large enterprises, maritime vessels, airplanes, and governments, in even the most remote regions.
Standards development and advancements in satellite technology, including Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations, have ushered in a new era of mobile communications brokered between SatCom and telcos. These partnerships enable mobile operators to extend their network coverage to even the most remote and underserved areas, overcoming traditional terrestrial limitations. As a result, more global citizens can now enjoy improved access to voice, data, and Internet services, bridging the digital divide and fostering enhanced communication on a global scale. As this industry evolves, it is essential for regulation to keep pace with the innovation of these global technologies to ensure technological interoperability, compatibility, and security.