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Evolution of Non-Terrestrial Networks Toward 6G
September 27, 2021 - September 30, 2021
Non-terrestrial networks (NTN) are expected to effectively deliver eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband) services anywhere at any time to any device (ATAWAD). This distinguishes them from the traditional satellite networks which only offer broadcast or narrowband internet services due to the insufficient processing capacity and the huge coverage area of a single satellite. Meanwhile, the commercial activities, along with the evolution of satellite communication protocols, are largely isolated from the cellular mobile communications for decades. As a result, the satellite industry did not benefit from economies of scale as the mobile industry did.
The emergence of low-cost mega LEO (Low Earth Orbit) constellations is a game changer, since (i) their lower orbit altitude ensures a low latency close to that of a global cellular network and (ii) the scale of constellation provides much higher area capacity than a traditional satellite network. Both are crucial to providing eMBB services. The integration of NTN into terrestrial cellular networks is another important enabler in achieving truly global coverage, since it facilitates seamless roaming between cellular and non-terrestrial networks with a single device. The above mentioned low latency, high capacity and seamless roaming will jointly contribute to a better user experience.
In this context, a set of enabling technologies need to be investigated, such as powerful RF modules, advanced air interface solutions, routing algorithms for time-varying topology, native integration of non-terrestrial and terrestrial networks, efficient manufacturing and in-orbit managements, etc. This workshop aims to bring together researchers of relevant fields, to discuss the latest results and progress of NTN from different perspectives (academia, industry, operators, and regulatory authorities). These discussions will inspire the evolution of NTN toward 6G.