New Alliance Formed to Promote Direct-to-Device Satellite Connectivity

A new collaborative venture has emerged in the satellite communications arena, as five satellite operators team up to form the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA). This alliance includes industry leaders like Viasat, Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace, and Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat). The key objective of MSSA is to create a global framework for direct-to-device (D2D) connectivity capitalizing on over 100 MHz of the L- and S-band spectrum already designated for mobile satellite services.

The MSSA has set its sights on developing a comprehensive satellite-based ecosystem that is harmonious with 3GPP standards. This integration will enhance terrestrial mobile network coverage, fostering both traditional mobile network operator (MNO) and innovative over-the-top (OTT) internet services. The association envisions a cooperative network comprising various industry stakeholders, including satellite and mobile operators, equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and component vendors.

Unlike other satellite projects that are looking to offer D2D services utilizing the same spectrum bands as MNOs, the approach here is distinct. It aims to provide D2D services with minimal interference issues and regulatory hurdles, as the L- and S-band spectrum already has an international regulatory framework in place and doesn’t encroach on the terrestrial network frequencies. The partnership will seek to integrate its satellite connectivity with existing mobile devices, paving the way for significant advancements in network speed, bandwidth, availability, and cost-efficiency. MSSA is committed to maintaining essential services for aviation and maritime safety while broadening the spectrum’s applicability to include narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) functionalities.

Summary:
A partnership of five satellite service providers aims to foster a direct-to-device ecosystem using licensed L- and S-band spectrums. This move could revolutionize mobile connectivity by extending network coverage without interfering with existing terrestrial services, while simultaneously embracing international standards and enhancing IoT capabilities.

FAQs about the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA)

What is the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA)?
MSSA is a collaborative venture formed by five satellite operators, namely Viasat, Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace, and Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat). Its primary goal is to establish a global framework for direct-to-device connectivity using designated L- and S-band spectrums.

What are the objectives of the MSSA?
The associative goal of the MSSA is to develop a satellite-based ecosystem that is compatible with 3GPP standards, aimed at enhancing terrestrial mobile network coverage and supporting both traditional mobile network operator services and over-the-top internet services.

How does MSSA plan to provide direct-to-device services?
The MSSA plans to utilize over 100 MHz of the L- and S-band spectrum, which is already allocated for mobile satellite services, thus minimizing interference with mobile network operator frequencies and circumventing regulatory difficulties.

What is the significance of L- and S-band spectrums?
The L- and S-band spectrums are portions of the radio spectrum internationally designated for mobile satellite services. These bands are recognized for their ability to provide reliable communication services with less interference to terrestrial networks.

What implications does the MSSA have for traditional MNOs and OTT services?
The MSSA’s initiative is set to improve coverage for traditional MNOs while also enabling innovative OTT services to thrive through enhanced satellite connectivity.

What are some of the benefits of MSSA’s approach?
The benefits include expanded network coverage, improved network speed, bandwidth, availability, and cost-efficiency. It also promises minimal regulatory issues and interference problems due to leveraging existing spectrums.

Will the MSSA affect aviation and maritime safety services?
The MSSA is committed to ensuring that the essential services for aviation and maritime safety are maintained while expanding the spectrum’s use to include narrowband Internet of Things functionalities.

How will MSSA influence IoT capabilities?
By adhering to international standards and expanding the applicability of the spectrum, MSSA supports the development of narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) services, which could lead to increased connectivity options for IoT devices.

Definitions
Direct-to-device (D2D): Refers to technologies that allow devices to connect directly to satellite networks without requiring additional ground infrastructure.
L-band and S-band spectrum: Specific frequencies within the radio spectrum internationally allocated for mobile satellite communications.
3GPP standards: A set of protocols and standards for mobile telecommunications agreed upon by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Mobile network operator (MNO): Companies that own or control access to the infrastructure necessary to sell and deliver wireless communication services to consumers.
Over-the-top (OTT) internet services: Services provided over the internet that bypass the traditional distribution of telecommunications or cable providers.
Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT): A standards-based low power wide area technology that enables a wide range of IoT devices and services.

Suggested Related Links
Viasat
Ligado Networks
Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat)

Please note that the above links are based on the assumption that the URLs are still valid at the time of reading this response.