HELENA (Highly skillEd sateLlite community mEmbers to drive 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network stAndardization) - Support to Standardisation of Satellite 5G Component

  • Status
  • Status date
  • Activity Code

This activity

  • aims at a continued support of the standardisation effort on NTN within the 3GPP.

  • will seek to capitalise on the investments made to date and secure the native integration of satcom within the next generation of mobile networks. 

  • encompasses the support to the NTN-related work items recently agreed for Release 18 as well as the preparation of NTN-related items for Release 19 and beyond.

In line with these general objectives, the consortium plans to steer the “3GPP defined NTN standard” towards the most relevant use cases, deployment scenarios and solutions for the European satellite communication eco system while meeting the requirements of user groups (e.g., mobile network operators and verticals) through selected technical contributions and networking activities.



The proposed activity is to support standardisation actions, help develop contributions and advocate positions favourable to the SatCom sector within the 3GPP standardisation process such that they result in tangible industrial opportunities.


Once 3GPP 5G compatible satellite solutions/products are available, the satellite communication industry is expected to benefit from a global eco system and a multi-vendor supply chain.


This project started mid February 2023 and will end mid February 2025, to cover the completion of Rel-18 and the Rel-19. Project detailed objectives are refined after each 3GPP plenaries on a quarterly basis.

Current status

1/ In TSG-RAN, 

It has contributed to the revision of

  • TR 38.821 “Solutions for NR to support non-terrestrial networks (NTN) (Release 16)” (Rapporteur: nicolas.chuberre (at) thalesaleniaspace.com) in RAN WG1,2,3

It has contributed to the completion of

  • change requests as part of work item identified as “NR_NTN_solutions” identifying solutions for NR to support Non-Terrestrial Networks approved at RAN#86 in Sitges (RP-193234) (Rapporteur: nicolas.chuberre (at) thalesaleniaspace.com) in RAN WG1,2,3&4

It is reviewing the channel model in TR 38.811 and may provide some updates if necessary:

  • TR 38.811 “Study on New Radio (NR) to support Non Terrestrial Networks (Release 15)” (Rapporteur: nicolas.chuberre (at) thalesaleniaspace.com) in TSG-RAN & RAN WG1

It is contributing to the development of

  • change requests as part of work item identified as RAN2 led “Rel-18 NR_NTN_enh WI“ approved at RAN#96-e (Rapporteur : nicolas.chuberre (at) thalesaleniaspace.com)

2/ In TSG-SA,

it is contributing to the development of 

  • change requests as part of work item identified as “5GSAT_ARCH ph2” approved at SA#98-e (Rapporteur : jean-yves.fine (at) thalesgroup.com) in SA WG2

  • a change request to TS 22.261 as part of the work item identified as “Rel-19 SA1 sat5G ph3” approved at SA#98-e (Rapporteur : Thierry.berisot (at) novamint.com) in SA WG1

  • a change request to TS 22.261 as part of the work item identified as “Rel-19 SA1 dualsteer” approved at SA#98-e (Rapporteur : Francesco Pica <fpica (at) qti.qualcomm.com>) in SA WG1

3/ It is also preparing a NTN package proposal for the Rel-19 for the work plan of both TSG-RAN and TSG-SA.

In addition, the project is managing a Satellite Standardisation Interest Group (SSIG).

The terms of References of SSIG are attached below.

Currently it gathers about 54 participants (Airbus, Avanti, Cell&Sat, CeWitt, Cobham, CTTC, Dish, DLR, Echostar, ESA, ESOA, Eutelsat, ETRI, Fraunhofer Fokus, Fraunhofer IIS, Gatehouse, Gilat, iDirect, IIT-Hyderabad, IIT-T, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Iridium, IRT Saint Exupery, Hispasat, Hughes, Ligado, Lockheed Martin, Magister Solutions, Mangata Networks, Mitsubishi, NBN, NICT, Novamint, Omnispace, OneWeb, Reliance Jio, Sapienza Consulting, Satellite Application Catapult, Satixfy, Sateliot, SES, SnT Luxembourg, STMicroelectronics, Telesat, Telespazio, Terrestar, Thales Alenia Space, TNO, TTP, Univ Bologna, Univ Roma, University of Surrey, Univ Napoli, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), Yahsat/Thuraya of which most are 3GPP members.