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CWIC: Plenary 1


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The satellite industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation enabled by new launch technology, new satellite technology, constellation innovation, space infrastructure investment and manufacturing innovation. In this session we will hear from companies at the leading edge of this transformation process and debate the evolving role of satellite systems in 4G and 5G mobile broadband and narrow band networks. Topics addressed include Cube SATS, NEW LEOS, MEO and GSO mixed constellations, geostationary satellite and terrestrial network integration, manufacturing innovation and regulatory challenges and opportunities.

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Satellite experts at CWIC 2018

  • Kieran Arnold

    Head of Domains, Satellite Applications Catapult

  • Meir Moalem

    CEO, Sky and Space Global

  • Dan Mercer

    VP, EMEA & Russia, Iridium

  • Geoff Varrall

    Director, RTT Online

Geoff Varrall, Director of RTT solutions, will be writing a number of blogs in the lead up to CWIC 2018 to set the scene for the satellite plenary.

His first topic, Beam Radio, starts during the early days of trans-oceanic/trans-continental radio transmission and the first official transmission between the British Isles and Australia in 1918 - an event which will be celebrated by the Wireless Heritage SIG later this year. At this time, a hydrostation generating 400kW of power was required to exchange simple messages with the other side of the planet.

Over the next ten years, Marconi found a solution to the bandwidth and power consumption problems in the form of short wave radio transmissions being "beamed" (directed) the right way, minimising the amount of energy being wasted transmitting radio where it wasn't needed. By 1928 more than half of the world's telegraph traffic was being sent by short wave radio systems rather than long wave or submarine cable.

100 years on, bandwidth and power use in radio transmission has become far more manageable than in 1918. The rise of satellites in the 1960s caused a shift away from long distance terrestrial radio for communication. Frequency re-use, band sharing and improved RF components have resulted in greater bandwidth breadth and efficiencies.  Meanwhile 5G terrestrial radio is moving mobile broadband towards beam forming.  To conclude, Geoff posits that in 2018, inter satellite switched LEO constellations provide an alternative to long distance fibre with a lower cost base and reduced end to end delay.

What are the latest innovations in satellites, and what does this mean for the wider economy? Find out at CWIC 2018.

Geoff's second Tech Topic, "5G, Satellite and Wi-Fi Spectrum, Standards, Scale" introduces Wi-Fi into the mix as a competing connectivity solution; and a valid competitor at that given that it is widely assumed that 80% of all future traffic will be indoors and - through historic precedent - expected to be free.

There are a number of projects exploring long distance Wi-Fi, facilitated by the proposed introduction of FDD into the Wi-Fi physical layer (something originally intended to facilitate high density access point coexistence).

At the same time there are use cases where satellites are supporting the delivery of low-cost Wi-Fi connectivity to rural communities, most famously through the Coca-Cola/OneWeb collaboration.

Will it be competition or collaboration between Wi-Fi and 5G - and how will satellite technology support deployment of either? Find out more at CWIC 2018.

CWIC 2018

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