Integration of Satcom Access Networks in IMS Core Networks

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The present activity aims to consolidate the findings of previous ARTES studies on Satcom-IMS integration. The recommendations from those studies of areas to be standardized are mapped to relevant standardization bodies, where activities are proposed and standards contributions made.

The main goal of the project is to standardise solutions for IMS Satcom integration.

With IMS, multimedia sessions can be set up over IP networks. This, for example, can be used for voice telephony services, video on demand, interactive IP TV, or video surveillance. Many of these potential IMS services are also relevant for Satcom service providers.

The project creates also awareness in the satellite industry for integrating the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) in Satellite based core telecom networks.


The main goal of the project is to standardise solutions for IMS Satcom integration. But standardisation is not possible without industry support and a view on what architecture needs to be standardised. Based on earlier projects, and in collaboration with other parties in standardisation fora, an architecture for IMS Satellite integration is selected.


NGN (Next Generation Networks) are All IP networks, where the service architecture is independent from the access technologies. The telecom industry is favouring the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as the architectural framework of choice for the NGN. IMS is expected to offer substantial cost savings from economies of scale and enable the convergence of services in fixed, mobile and satellite networks. As satellite networks are candidates for NGN, especially as access networks, the issue of their seamless integration with IMS is a strategic one that is addressed in this project.

The whole telecommunication industry is moving towards IMS based services, this is made evident in an increasing number of fixed line operators that are replacing traditional local telephone exchanges with by IMS based solutions, and mobile operators that are starting to roll out IP-only LTE networks on which voice and other media services are offered over IMS. With IMS, Satcom operators can provide similar session based services as provided in terrestrial networks. This allows better integration of Satcom with terrestrial networks.

The project achieved its goals by making contributions to DVB-RCS2 and 3GPP standards bodies. In DVB-RCS2, guidelines for IMS implementation was describes. In 3GPP, the so called “P-access-info header” value was specified for DVB-RCS2 access networks.


IMS is designed to be used with all type of IP access networks (e.g. UMTS, WLAN, WiMAX, DOCSIS), but not yet with a satellite access network.

The 3GPP Policy and Charging Control (PCC) architecture is used between IMS service layer to control the DVB-RCS2 media flows. By integrating DVB-RCS2 with PCC, IMS can be used with DVB-RCS2 with minimal amendments to the IMS standards.


The project is divided into three tasks:

Task 1: consolidation of standardisation recommendations from previous IMS related ESA studies,

Task 2: Implementation of standardisation plan,

Task 3: Recommendations for further activities.

Current status

Project was finalized in November 2012, all tasks are completed.

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