In June 2022, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) published a set of communication standards for satellite networks. These Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) standards were designed to enable the integration of satellite networks and terrestrial networks, ushering in a new era for IoT and mobile connectivity. In just a short time, this initiative is having a profound effect on not only the Satellite Communications (SatCom) industry,
On the other hand, prominent smartphone manufacturers and chipset makers like Apple, Qualcomm, Motorola, MediaTek, Huawei, and ZTE are making strides with their consumer-grade devices towards supporting satellite communications via Narrowband-NTN, NTN unmodified, and 5G New Radio-NTN. This growth can be attributed directly to the smaller form factor of satellites and reduced launch costs by as much as 98%, allowing SatCom offerings to serve a wider audience and further facilitating growth.
By 2030, ABI Research anticipates that there will be more than 175 million NTN mobile connections worldwide. Satellite communications services have seen a new wave of enthusiasm and convergence with terrestrial networks looking to extend past their coverage zones and bridge the digital divide. We are witnessing a growing trend of operators leveraging software-defined satellites and multi-orbit solutions to meet the connectivity demands of the future.
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