5G, 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network

  • A NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) refers to a network, or segment of networks using RF resources on board a satellite or UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System ) platform.

  • In case of satellite communication, Non-Terrestrial Network typically features the following elements:

    • A satellite as NTN payload, which may implement either a transparent or a regenerative (with on board processing) payload

    • One or several sat-gateways (NTN gateway) as an earth station located at the surface of the earth that connect the Non-Terrestrial Network to a public data network. An NTN Gateway is a TNL (Transport Network Layer) node.

    • A Feeder link or radio link between a sat-gateway (NTN gateway) and the satellite (NTN payload)

    • A service link or radio link between the user equipment and the satellite (NTN payload)

    • User Equipment are served by the satellite within the targeted service area.

  • In case of 5G, 3GPP Non-terrestrial network is an NG-RAN consisting of gNBs, which provide non-terrestrial NR access to UEs by means of an NTN payload embarked on board e.g. a satellite and an NTN Gateway. In the 3GPP specification(Release 17.3.0), the NTN payload is a TNL node.

  • Here I try to depict Transparent satellite based NG-RAN architecture.

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