Link to Satellite Evolution article

Forsway, a leading provider of innovative solutions tapping satellite and existing terrestrial technologies to enable cost-efficient broadband services, today announced phase II of its co-funded ARTES Core Competitiveness development project Satellite Assisted 5G for vehicles with European Space Agency to develop a complete hybrid satellite hub for connected vehicles. Using the benchmark ‘network-of-networks,’ cloud-native approach, a main aspect of the project is the integration of Forsway Xtend Hub with the 5G/NFV architecture (network function virtualization).

The forward-leaning initiative aims at enabling operators and service providers to reach underserved areas not well covered by terrestrial mobile network infrastructure with satellite broadband – to serve the rapidly expanding connected vehicles segment with a complete hybrid solution for land-mobile (buses/trains), maritime, and in-flight connectivity with seamless connectivity.

The initiative is supported by ESA co-funding through its programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) Core Competitiveness.

“Our expanded 5G project will build on the comprehensive cloud-native foundation established in Phase I,” says Edvin Lindqvist, Forsway’s CTO. “In this exciting new stage, Forsway will enable passengers with seamless connectivity when travelling in and between rural and urban areas by blending satellite and terrestrial networks.”

“The integration of the Forsway Xtend Hub into the 5G/NFV architecture will create an exciting, future-oriented platform for 5G initiatives outside our traditional customer base,” continues Lindqvist. “To supplement the hub, Forsway will also develop a hybrid satellite/terrestrial terminal to deploy validation trials.“

Forsway sees the network-of-networks approach in 5G as a perfect means of using satellites to reach underserved areas not well covered by mobile broadband. The company predicts that satellites will play an important role when providing continuous connectivity to vehicles and that the network-of-networks approach in the 5G architecture provides robust flexibility to extend mobile networks using satellite connectivity.

Georgios Ziaragkas, Ground Segment Engineer and project leader, ESA, “Forsway’s ‘ARTES Core Competitiveness Satellite Assisted 5G for vehicles’ development project aims to enable and simplify a communication service provider’s (CSP) ability to significantly accelerate slow or congested networks using satellite services and to boost service to connected vehicles. The 5G/NFV architecture will make it possible for a CSP to seamlessly integrate the hybrid Forsway Xtend Hub directly into their core network.”

“The Forsway hybrid connectivity concept is a benchmark for connecting under-connected regions in both advanced and emerging markets.”

Main Forsway development in the Phase II ESA co-funded project will concentrate on:

  • Advanced SD-WAN: Including the option to utilize several heterogeneous network links in parallel, with automatic bonding, failover, and application-aware traffic prioritization.

  • Edge computing: Using satellite multicast for distribution of computing workloads and content will be valuable, for example, in passenger entertainment and distance education.