Mobile and satellite have always been colleagues as well as competitors but the balance seems to be shifting in favour of cooperation.
There are frequent complaints about mobile encroachment into satellite spectrum but in the background MNOs like Rakuten and Vodafone are hoping that satellite can move beyond occasional provision of backhaul to provide a comprehensive solution to rural connectivity.
This hinges on whether a new generation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites can transform the economics of the industry, and this is one of the issues we examine in our new dossier on the changing relationship between mobile/satellite.
In spectrum policy terms, there is potential to reshape loyalties and smooth over antagonisms. Satellite’s commitment to the 5G ecosystem is a driver, as are the business plans of the new generation LEOs, which include connecting directly to mobile handsets and using MNO’s existing frequencies.