The study explored the possible benefit of advanced air interface techniques as well as advanced payload/ground segment solutions for providing more cost effective broadcast/interactive services in the near future.
Main emphasis was on validating the merits of the new promising solutions being proposed at that scope (e.g. MIMO, interference cancellation, on-ground beamforming, hybrid satellite /terrestrial coverage) with particular regard to a possible future application for an S-band mobile satellite systems.
The project fits within the evolving scenario of satellite systems designed to offer various types of services to mobile devices (such as phones, PDAs, vehicular terminals, etc.), for which there is a considerable interest in Europe as witnessed by the recent - though unfortunate - launch of the W2A satellite and by the S-band allocation to this type of service.
While the main emphasis has initially been on providing television broadcasting services to mobile users, there is now a clear interest for also expanding the service offer to advanced two-way interactive applications. In order to provide such kind of services in a cost effective manner, innovative techniques and technologies as well as advanced architectures for integrating satellite and terrestrial networks are required.
Accordingly, the subject study aimed at identifying and analysing efficient hybrid system architectures which, thanks to the availability of new techniques and technologies, is able to provide enhanced interactive & broadcast services to a mix of cheap mobile terminals.
Beyond the purely technical issues (such as air interface, payload & ground segment techniques, integration with terrestrial networks, hybrid networks management techniques & protocols, spectrum sharing, etc.), the subject study covered many other topics, noticeably the definition of service demands and the matching mission requirements, the quantitative assessment of the advantages provided by the proposed system architectures, and the identification of the key enabling technologies.