ALIX - Support to Standardisation


The ALIX project aims at supporting active participation in the 3GPP standardisation process to define the 5G satellite component and its interfaces with other networks as well as the creation of a critical mass to influence this standardisation process.


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 products are available the customer will benefit from a global eco systems and a multi-vendor supply chain


This two year projects started on January 2018. Project objectives will be refined after each 3GPP plenaries on a quarterly basis

Current status

The project has established a SSIG which gathers 32 participants (Airbus, Avanti, CNES, CTTC, DLR, ESA, ESOA, Eutelsat, Fraunhofer IIS, Gilat, iDirect, Hispasat, HNS, Inmarsat, Intelsat, MERCE, Newtec, Nomor Research, Satellite Application Catapult, Satixfy, SES, SnT Univ Luxembourg, Telesat, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space, TNO, Univ Bologna, Univ Roma, University of Surrey, Univ Napoli, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) of which 21 are 3GPP members.

This group is currently promoting 3 study/work items to have satellite being addressed as part of the 3GPP release 16 (5G system phase 2 standardisation):

  • SA1 Work Item to « Normalisation phase of Satellite Integration » (see SA1 TR 22.822)
  • SA2 study item “Satellite in 5G system Architecture” (on the basis of SA1 TR 22.822)
  • RAN1/2/3 study item “Evaluate solutions for NR to support non-terrestrial networks”

Besides this, the project has supported the preparation/review of more than 50 contributions in SA1 and RAN/RAN1 as part of the 3GPP release 15 (5G system phase 1 standardisation) for the development of two TR

  • 3GPP TR 22.822 “Study on using Satellite Access in 5G” (SI: FS_5GSAT)
  • 3GPP TR 38.811 “Study on NR to support non-terrestrial networks” (SI: FS_NR_nonterr_nw on NR)

Last the project facilitates the review among satellite industry stakeholders of the ETSI TR 103.611 “Satellite Earth Stations and Systems (SES); Seamless integration of satellite and/or HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) systems into 5G system and related architecture options”


ESA Contacts

Status date

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 06:22