ZTE announces the World's First Operator's 5G NTN Mobile Phone Direct-to-Satellite Technology Field Verification

According to the release of ZTE Technology, on the afternoon of August 26th, China Mobile Research Institute, together with industrial partners such as ZTE, Transportation and Communications Information Group, China Mobile Beijing Company, jointly released the world's first operator 5G NTN (non-terrestrial network, non-terrestrial network) technical field verification results. This verification is based on the 3GPP R17 NTN protocol, breaking through the two major challenges of 36,000 km ultra-long one-way distance and ordinary mobile phone direct connection, forming two innovative solutions of ultra-large delay dynamic compensation and radio frequency data conversion between satellites and ground, realizing the 5G NTN terminal. The end-to-end full-link technology is connected, which verifies the feasibility of the mobile phone directly connecting to the satellite under the premise of meeting the 3GPP protocol.

Combining the market demand for satellite IoT and the value of NB-IoT NTN scenarios, China Mobile and its partners will first conduct a pilot project based on high-orbit satellites. It consists of user terminals, satellites, satellite gateways, base stations, core networks, and service servers. The network topology is as follows, the L-band satellite and the ground gateway station are located between the NTN terminal and the base station, completing the air interface message transmission, the ground gateway station is connected with the 5G NTN base station, and the terminal is connected to the ground core network and The business platform realizes the end-to-end business connection of satellite-ground integration.

ZTE said that this time the world's first operator's 5G NTN field verification, the measured performance was in line with expectations, supporting services such as short messages and voice intercom, and comprehensively verified the direct connection of mobile phones to satellites in terms of architecture, protocols, and equipment. Technology landing ability. In terms of test results, the base station RF ACLR index is better than the gateway station RF index requirements, the link quality is in line with expectations, the ping 64-byte delay is about 4s, the short message service function is normal, the voice intercom is clear and smooth, and the performance meets expectations. Possibility to implement. This pilot verifies the feasibility of NTN networking for transparent forwarding of high-orbit satellites from the perspective of architecture, verifies the feasibility of NTN to solve problems such as long delay and wide coverage from the perspective of protocol, and verifies from the perspective of equipment. The capability of satellite mode is the breakthrough of NTN technology "from 0 to 1".

The field verification of 5G NTN technology has realized the direct connection between high-orbit synchronous satellites and ground terminals for the first time and completed the end-to-end business connection. In the future, special pilot projects for practical services such as personal emergency response and IoT collection will continue to be carried out in Beijing, Yunnan, and other provinces. Facing the future, it will further conduct more comprehensive basic business verification and performance evaluation of 5G NTN technology based on medium-orbit and low-orbit satellites, laying a solid theoretical and technical foundation for the direct connection of mobile phones to satellites.

5G NTN technology supports the access of smartphones and IoT terminals at this stage. Smartphones can realize text messages, voice intercoms, and broadband Internet access through direct satellite connections, creating ubiquitous connections in remote areas, oceans, and civil aviation. With the advancement of 3GPP NTN standard research and the enhancement of satellite capabilities, it is expected that 5G NTN will gradually support more frequency bands and onboard processing capabilities. For the IoT terminal scenario, the IoT application data package is small, the satellite bandwidth is small, the industry chain is more mature, and the terminal cost and power consumption are lower, which may be implemented before 5G mobile phones.

What is NTN technology?

NTN (non-terrestrial network, non-terrestrial network) is a direct communication technology between terminals and satellites based on new air interface technology formulated by 3GPP in the R17 phase. In response to the problems of large Doppler frequency, large signal attenuation and large propagation delay caused by long distance, fast movement, and wide coverage in satellite communication scenarios, NTN has designed the air interface enhancement protocol, introduced scheduling sequence management, HARQ function arrangement, Advanced technologies such as uplink transmission delay compensation and air-ground fast handover have provided basic satellite communication capabilities.

NTN is an important supplement to terrestrial cellular communication technology, and it is one of the technical directions for mobile phones to directly connect to satellites. Using the integration of satellite communication network and terrestrial 5G network, it can provide ubiquitous coverage without being restricted by topography, connect the multi-dimensional space of air, sky, earth, and sea, and form an integrated ubiquitous access network, enabling all The scene can be accessed on demand.

NTN is an important feature of 3GPP Release 17, and has continued to evolve in 5G-Advanced, and has become an important part of the 3GPP Release 18 work plan. NTN includes two working groups, NTN-IoT (non-terrestrial network-based IoT terminal access) and NTN-NR (non-terrestrial network-based 5G intelligent terminal access). NTN-IoT focuses on supporting low-complexity eMTC and NB- Satellite IoT services for IoT terminals, such as global asset tracking (such as maritime containers or other terminals outside the coverage of cellular networks), NTN-NR uses the 5G NR framework to enable smartphones to directly connect to satellites to provide low-rate data services and voice services.

From the perspective of global network coverage, there are still more than 80% of land areas and more than 95% of marine areas without terrestrial network coverage. 5G NTN technology can realize the direct connection of mobile phones to cellular broadband networks through satellites, thereby building a world-ground fusion network with ubiquitous connections, rich scenarios, highly integrated industrial chains, and low construction and operation, and maintenance costs.

Facing customers, using the powerful coverage capability of the NTN network, it is theoretically possible to build a public emergency communication network based on the direct connection of mobile phones in all time and space, provide ubiquitous communication network services, and create ubiquitous connections in remote areas, oceans, civil aviation, etc. Provide full-scenario services such as SMS, voice, Internet access, public emergency communications, and wide-area Internet of Things.

Facing the industry, through the in-depth integration of the two industrial chains of cellular communication and satellite communication, the form of IoT terminals connected to satellites will develop in the direction of low cost, miniaturization, and low power consumption so that smartphones can be directly connected to satellites. capacity, forming a scale effect, and driving down the price of satellite connections.

For operators, it provides a low-cost wide coverage solution. It does not need to build and maintain cellular base stations in remote areas with sparse users, such as the sea.

Post a Comment