Benefit Analysis of Integration of MSS in Terrestrial Mobile Networks

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To study the role of satellites in support of terrestrial mobile networks and the conditions to maximise the likelihood of take-up of an integrated mobile satellite system.

In particular this study aims to identify:

  • Which opportunities exist for the integration of satellite and terrestrial mobile networks? - Identify and measure synergies between satellite and terrestrial systems,
  • What impact could these opportunities have? - Identify synergies which could enhance terrestrial networks,
  • How to implement the opportunities? - Determine the optimum approach to achieve these synergies through integration,
  • Whether the proposed approaches are likely to be cost effective? - Develop a cost benefit analysis to assess the value of these approaches,
  • What supporting actions are needed to make satellite integration a reality? Identify the necessary supporting technologies which need to be developed,
  • Disseminate the findings so that the opportunities may be realised - Use the cost benefit analysis (CBA) and business case outputs to persuade and influence infrastructure and device manufacturers and service providers that satellite services have a role to play in an overall solution.

There have been a number of high profile satellite programmes targeted at mobile communications that have resulted in poor take-up of communications services. The project analyses these failures in the context of the mobile communications value chain and identifies reasons for failure and success.


The expected main benefits of this project are that a set of suitable scenarios for integration of mobile (LTE) and satellite services are developed. Further the cost modelling work establishes the potential size of the addressable market. An analysis of the mobile value chain helps establish the practical feasibility of the integration scenarios.


A range of scenarios is developed. The scenarios start from the simplest, where satellite is providing backhaul services to a mobile network to more complex scenarios where the satellite systems become an integrated part of the mobile terrestrial architecture for certain geographic/demographic cases and applications. Each scenario requires a slightly different architecture. This project identifies the required target architecture and a number of interim architectures that may be required to implement the less simple scenarios.


Key deliverables:

Technical Note 1: Cost elements of terrestrial networks KO+5
Technical Note 2: Lessons learnt in the mobile networks KO+5
Technical Note 3: Scenarios of integration and technology re-use KO+9
Technical Note 4: Cost Benefit Analysis KO+12
Technical Note 5: New business opportunities KO+12
Technical Note 6: Roadmap for actions and dissemination KO+15
Final Report Executive Summary report Final Meeting
Final Presentation Final Meeting
Current status

Project completed:

The study analyses and forecasts the development of the terrestrial mobile market and drawn important lessons for the future from previous satellite initiatives. The study develops for analysis four scenarios of increasing harmonisation and convergence between MSS and terrestrial mobile networks and described the architecture of each scenario. The potential geographic coverage for the main scenarios is calculated in order to derive and analyse the costs of adding satellite complementary ground components (CGC) to existing terrestrial infrastructure. Finally, the study reviews value chains in the delivery of mobile, broadcast and satellite services in order to estimate addressable revenues.  Among the opportunities for integration identified, the connected car represents a key opportunity for the satellite industry as it focuses on nomadic and mobile end users, which is undoubtedly a specialty of satellite systems and operators.  A roadmap and proposed actions for key organisations in the satellite and mobile industries are proposed in order to develop the opportunities identified.

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