New Consortium Established to Revolutionize Mobile Satellite Communications

In a strategic alliance, Viasat, Inc., alongside fellow industry leaders like Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace, and Yahsat, has announced the creation of the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA). This consortium is pioneering efforts to enhance Direct-to-Device (D2D) communications, heralding a new era of connectivity through coordinated use of more than 100 MHz of L- and S-band spectrum dedicated to mobile satellite services.

The MSSA is centered around a non-profit model aiming for significant advancements in the field of mobile communication. By leveraging spectrum that facilitates seamless interaction with a myriad of mobile devices, the association is setting the stage for improved terrestrial and satellite network interconnectivity. The group’s adherence to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards reflects their commitment to expanding mobile coverage in a collaborative way that includes both traditional Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Over-the-Top (OTT) internet services.

Summary: The newly formed MSSA is pooling expertise and licensed spectrum resources to roll out enhanced mobile satellite services. Their focus lies in fostering a connected ecosystem where terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks synergize, enabling robust connectivity solutions. This initiative could potentially benefit a multitude of sectors by providing comprehensive coverage and supporting the growth of emergent technologies like the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) and 5G New Radio (5G-NR) services.

Chairman of MSSA and CEO of Viasat, Mark Dankberg, articulated the vision for a dynamic D2D and IoT communication framework, driven by open standards and mindful of preserving key safety services across aviation and maritime sectors.

Additionally, the MSSA pledges to advance global roaming capabilities, bridging the gap between earthbound and orbital networks while advocating for the responsible utilization of space and spectrum resources. The consortium also aims to integrate space-based communications into national infrastructures worldwide, encouraging participation within the burgeoning space economy while respecting national sovereignty.

FAQ Section:

1. What is the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA)?
The MSSA is a consortium formed by Viasat, Inc., Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace, and Yahsat to promote Direct-to-Device (D2D) communications. As a non-profit organization, MSSA is pioneering efforts to improve mobile communications by leveraging licensed spectrum in the L- and S-band.

2. What are the goals of the MSSA?
The MSSA aims to create an ecosystem where terrestrial and satellite networks work in harmony, improving mobile coverage by adhering to the 3GPP standards. Their focus includes enhancing global roaming capabilities, facilitating seamless mobile communication, and supporting technologies like NB-IoT and 5G-NR.

3. What spectrum resources are utilized by the MSSA for mobile satellite services?
MSSA coordinates the use of more than 100 MHz of L- and S-band spectrum dedicated to mobile satellite services, which is key to enabling robust connectivity solutions.

4. Who is leading the MSSA?
Mark Dankberg, CEO of Viasat, is the Chairman of MSSA. He’s focused on creating a D2D and IoT communication framework based on open standards, while ensuring safety services in aviation and maritime sectors.

5. What are D2D communications?
Direct-to-Device (D2D) communications refer to the transmission of data directly between mobile devices using satellite or other communication technologies without the need for a cell tower or traditional network infrastructure.

6. How does the MSSA plan to impact the global space economy?
The MSSA suggests integrating space-based communications into national infrastructures worldwide, which is expected to encourage involvement in the space economy while maintaining respect for national sovereignty.

7. What is the significance of the MSSA’s commitment to 3GPP standards?
By adhering to 3GPP standards, the MSSA ensures compatibility and interoperability with existing and future mobile networks, thereby expanding mobile coverage in collaboration with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Over-the-Top (OTT) internet service providers.

8. What are the implications of the MSSA’s advancement of global roaming capabilities?
Advancing global roaming capabilities means users will be able to maintain service continuity between different networks and while traveling between countries, benefiting from a combination of terrestrial and satellite-based networks.

Direct-to-Device (D2D): A communication method where data is transmitted directly between mobile devices without requiring traditional network infrastructure.
3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP): A collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations to make a globally applicable set of standards for mobile systems.
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs): Companies that provide mobile communications services and own the necessary infrastructure.
Over-the-Top (OTT) Internet Services: Services that are provided over the internet bypassing traditional distribution channels.
Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT): A low-power wide-area network radio technology standard that enables a wide range of cellular devices and services.
5G New Radio (5G-NR): The global standard for a unified, more capable 5G wireless air interface.

Suggested Related Links:
Terrestar Solutions
Ligado Networks