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VITAL Report Summary

Project ID: 644843
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VITAL (VIrtualized hybrid satellite-TerrestriAl systems for resilient and fLexible future networks)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Despite the important and continued advances in the technologies used in satellite communications, the deployment of cutting-edge network technologies within satellite networks has not evolved at the same pace as terrestrial communications systems, mainly due to business-related constraints. However, the combination of satellite and terrestrial network components to form an integrated telecom domain has been regarded for long time as a promising approach to significantly improve the delivery of communications services and the business position of the SatCom industry in the market. In this context, the SatCom industry is clearly committed to revisit and revamp the role of satellite communications in the path towards next generation 5G networks. Indeed, considering the current and future challenges being pursued under the scope of 5G communication networks, it is of utmost importance that 5G seamlessly integrates multiple layers and heterogeneity of network technologies, including satellite communications.
Current advances in satellite communications are being mainly addressed at the satellite level, such as (1) High Throughput Satellites (HTS) with multi-beam and frequency reuse capabilities; (2) low-cost micro-satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations; (3) higher millimetre wave frequencies; or (4) more flexible payloads components to dynamically modify satellite antenna beam patterns in orbit to respond to market demands. However, satellite ground segment network architectures (satellite hubs, satellite terminals and networking equipment within the satellite networks) have not followed this evolution, lacking in prevalent standards: functionalities are mainly deployed on vendor-specific network appliances, which execute specific functions. This leads to a network infrastructure settings too prone to vendor locking, too complicated to manage when operating together solutions from various vendors, and too hard to change in behaviour.
In this context, VITAL project’s core proposition is the introduction of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies within the satellite ground segment networks, which is anticipated to be a necessary step in their evolution. SDN and NFV technologies can bring greater flexibility to satellite network operators (SNOs), reducing both operational and capital expenses in deploying and managing SDN/NFV-compatible networking equipments within the satellite networks. In addition, the adoption of SDN/NFV into the satellite networks can eventually pave the way for a more flexible and agile integration and operation of combined satellite and terrestrial networks.
VITAL (VIrtualized hybrid satellite-TerrestriAl systems for resilient and fLexible future networks) is an ambitious project targeting the development and validation of reference architectural models for the virtualisation of satellite networks and its integration in terrestrial-satellite hybrid settings. This will enable the realisation of a multi-domain service orchestration and resource management framework that will be the key technological enabler for meeting the requirements of an integrated satellite-terrestrial network for the 5G era.
The solutions developed in VITAL will enable improved coverage, optimized communication resources use and better network resilience, along with improved innovation capacity and business agility for deploying communications services over combined networks. VITAL will address the design and validation of a hybrid architectural framework, the required mechanisms to enable virtualization of SatCom network components, including performance optimisation and implementation of a number of virtualised functions, and the design of an SDN- enabled, federated resources management framework, embedding strategies and algorithmic solutions to provide end-to-end communication services. Proof of Concept validation of VITAL solutions and enabling technologies through a combination of real prototypes and emulators are also envisaged. The project aims to impact standardization initiatives and will contribute to open platform initiatives for SDN/NFV deployments.
The core aims of the VITAL project will be pursued through the following objectives:
• Design a system architecture based on NFV/SDN principles and technologies for the hybrid combination of terrestrial and satellite networking infrastructures, defining functional components and interfaces at terminal, system/network and service levels.
• Design and proof-of-concept validation of a framework for SatCom ground segment virtualization, termed as Sat-Cloud-RAN, comprised of a number of virtualized SatCom networking components and functions.
• Design and validation of a management and orchestration entity specialized for SatCom service providers, the NFV Manager, responsible for the management of the Network Service lifecycle management, and orchestration of VNF (Virtual Network Functions) Manager that manages the underlying Sat-Cloud-RAN infrastructure.
• Design and proof-of-concept implementation of a multi-domain network service orchestration framework, the multi-domain FNRM orchestrator, for federated resource management over hybrid NFV/SDN-based Satellite-Terrestrial Networks.
• Validation and demonstration of the concepts through a combination of real test-beds and emulators, addressing short-to-medium term applicability (demonstrated through testbed platforms with real equipment) as well as medium-to-long term applicability (demonstrated through a combination of test-bed platforms and emulators).
• Business models evaluation, techno-economic analysis and roadmap for exploitation and commercialization.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Immediately after the kick-off meeting, held at Trento on February 25/26, 2015, the organisational setup and technical work on the project was accelerated. The project was technically in progress since the beginning of February.
The initial step in the project was to consolidate the use cases and scenarios in order to capture the different traits of introducing SDN/NFV technologies in satellite domain, and also clearly outlining the link towards flexible and resilient multi-domain SatCom-terrestrial approaches that leverage the SDN/NFV framework. In order to pursue this effort, the partners took a two-phased approach:
• To analyse the current SatCom ground segment architectures, business model and general SatCom operational characteristics including the roles and business actors/service models in SatCom environment;
• To undertake a deeper analysis of the SDN/NFV enabling technologies that are currently under discussion and various levels of maturity, including an overview of its application across different network domains and technologies, spanning from academic to industrial, and standardisation/open source projects/initiatives.
This initial analysis during the first 2 months in the project led to the major next step to revise the scenarios and use cases that were initially identified in the technical annex, and consolidate them based on the overarching directions of the project. This led to the reclassification of the project scenarios and use cases. The definition of the scenarios and use cases were applied based on the progressive path, considering that Scenario 1 is mainly focussed on extracting the benefits of virtualization of the SatCom ground segment platforms including the gateway elements and the terminal elements. The second and third scenarios focused on hybrid SatCom-terrestrial networks, both from a single administrative domain and multiple domains perspective, with the second scenario focusing on the SatCom backhauling aspect for 4G/5G networks in order to improve capacity and coverage, and further to optimize different services (e.g., edge services leveraging Mobile Edge Computing over satellite) and the third scenario focussing on federated services for SatCom-terrestrial access.
The scenarios and use cases were elaborated based on different considerations, including technology-centric, service-centric, business-centric, architecture centric aspects, and each scenarios were substantiated with the associated actors and outlining the specific challenges and enabling technologies associated to the use cases. Furthermore, a brief analysis on the market potential of the use cases were identified, which will be analysed later in the project in detail for the business models and techno-economic studies. The scenarios and use cases are elaborated in deliverable, D2.1.
During the elaboration of the use cases and scenarios, the partners realised the complexity in defining different terminologies tied to the concepts relevant to VITAL, and hence spent the effort to clarify the terminologies to be adopted in the project, which after several iterations, consolidated to a common terminology view, which is used by the project.
As soon as the first draft scenarios and use cases were prepared, in order to complete the milestone, MS5, the partners started to discuss about the methodology to approach the requirements analysis, which is a predominant work in order to draft the system architecture. The approach chosen to derive a concrete set of requirements for the VITAL system. The requirements categorization was done in order to arrive at a very early draft of general and business=related requirements in order to put in place an initial architectural view, departing from the direction set in the Technical Annex. In order to capture clearly the requirements, initially an analysis of the requirements per use case was carried out. Later, the technical and business requirements were drafted based on the analysis, in order to quickly converge on the critical system, functional and business requirements. The initial set of requirements identified in order to draft the system architecture are provided in deliverable, D2.1. The extended set of requirements which include sub-system specific requirements including interface requirements and requirements aligned to the implementation scenarios will be produced in deliverable, D2.2 (due at M12).
Based on the scenarios and requirements study, the initial architecture discussions and potential directions were presented during the plenary meeting at Athens. There were extensive discussions to categorize the main architectural principles considering different parameters, most critical of which is the single-domain/multi-domain aspect tightly linked to administrative ownership of the network domains. Furthermore, different components of the architecture were also discussed in detail to define the preliminary architectural view, system components and layers. The layered view of VITAL architecture (shown in Figure 1) follows the architectural directions presented in recent development of NFV/SDN integrated architectures proposed in standardisation organizations like ETSI/IETF. The infrastructure and management elements per layer were identified and discussed in detail, in order to bring clarity and maturity to the VITAL system views, also to provide with clear starting points for the technical work packages, WP3 and WP4. Further since it was still early stage of project and the business level directions were still not totally clarified, it was decided to consider multiple approaches for the VITAL architecture including the preliminary views towards the implementation architecture and software components, which is presented in deliverable, D2.1.
This early analysis of the scenarios and use cases, initial requirements, and draft reference architecture were mainly consolidated in WP2 and are summarized within the deliverable, D2.1.
The technical work packages, WP3 and WP4 started at M2 and M3 respectively. One of the initial goals of WP3 was to carry out a thorough analysis on the following aspects:
• State of art analysis of virtualization approaches applied to mobile networks, fixed networks etc, in particular analysing the principles of Cloud-RAN architecture, and the virtualization of mobile base stations (eNodeB), small cell etc., which are most recently discussed within 3GPP, Small Cell Forum etc.
• State of art and thorough analysis on NFV architecture, SDN control and orchestration, and NFV Management and Orchestration solutions, identifying open source, academic and industrial market-ready solutions.
Basically on one hand, the WP3 focus was to develop the appropriate means with which the virtualization of the SatCom ground segment functions can be realised. In this direction, based on the architectural analysis and internal discussions carried out in the project, taking into account the features and constraints of the SatCom elements, the concept of Sat-Cloud-RAN was developed. The Satellite Cloud-RAN (or Sat-Cloud-RAN) is developed based on SDN and NFV principles to facilitate the deployment of the three use cases defined for the SatCom virtualization scenario in WP2. The methodology for the development of the concept was also agreed in order to study the decomposition of satellite gateway elements between physical and virtual components. The Sat-Cloud-RAN architecture was also developed considering the levels of maturity of the proposed approach.
The three variants of the functional split of the Sat-Cloud-RAN architecture are elaborated in detail in deliverable, D3.1 (shown in Figure 2). The Sat-Cloud-RAN environment was analysed in order to prepare the virtualized infrastructure for the scenarios for each of the proposed variants. Further to the Sat-Cloud-RAN development, there were also studies regarding the NFV approach for SatCom core network functions. An analysis of the application of SDN techniques for management and control of the Sat-Cloud-RAN functions were also carried out, in order to illustrate the link of the Sat-Cloud-RAN to resource management approaches studied in WP4.
The Sat-Cloud-RAN basically runs in a cloud-based platform, which is termed as the NFVI-PoP hosting the VNFs. A NFV Infrastructure, termed as NFVI, manages this platform. The parallel focus in the WP3 was to study the design and development of the NFV manager that is a specialized entity to manage and orchestrate a SatCom-specific NFV infrastructure. Based on the state of art evaluation of NFV infrastructure, manager and orchestrators; the design of the NFV Manager was carried out, with special emphasis on the management layer for SatCom service providers. The results of the NFV manager studies and architectural development are provided in deliverable, D3.2. The specification of the NFV manager, the technology selection for implementation etc were also developed during this period and reported in deliverable, D3.2. The development activities on the NFV manager also progressed during the reporting period mainly led by NCSRD, and certain core network functions were also implemented by OneAccess in their Hybrid-CPE whitebox which is an extensible version to replace/accommodate within satellite terminals.
The main focus from an initial stage in WP4 was to clarify the resource management perspective as viewed from the SDN/NFV-based SatCom network and the federated multi-domain SDN/NFV SatCom-terrestrial network. In this regard, the first step were to identify the relevance of resource management within the technical challenges identified from the use cases in WP2. The objective of this exercise was twofold: on one hand, to capture partners’ views regarding the relevance of the different technical challenges and, on the other hand, to capture the specific interests from the partners to undertake contributions addressing the different technical challenges. This was implemented by distributing a table, which was filled in by the partners and later on analysed in order to have an initial reference about the priorities to be considered and the corresponding partners that will be involved into the particular strategy.
Besides, WP4 also conducted an internal discussion in order to refine and consolidate the view on how the expected outcomes of WP4 should flow into the planned deliverables. Building from the scenarios and use cases described in WP2, the WP4 reported a first draft specification of the overall framework for network resource management of SDN/NFV-enabled satellite networks. This initial work, reported in D4.1 is intended to establish the foundations for the activities concerning the formulation and assessment of algorithmic solutions as well as the design and implementation of the Federated Network Resource Management (FNRM) entities for multi-domain/cross-domain orchestration spanning satellite and terrestrial segments. Based on the discussions on the VITAL architecture in WP2, the approach for the federated orchestration framework was revisited multiple times, due to the considerations in the project for an integrated SDN/NFV platform for future SatCom networks, and for hybrid SatCom-terrestrial services. During the drafting of the framework design document, one consolidated view was reached based on the interaction between WP2-WP3-WP4 (Figure 3). More details on the components and the interfaces are provided in deliverable, D4.1. Due to these discussions on the appropriate architectural split
With regard to the algorithmic solutions, analysis of studies related to the strategies in the areas of capacity/traffic management, mobility management, resilience management and end-to-end service composition management were discussed. By the end of the reporting period, a preliminary list of potential studies were identified which will be developed further during the next reporting period with results to be included in deliverable D4.2:
• Flexible distribution of satellite backhauling capacity controlled by a MNO. Applicability to traffic/capacity, mobility and resilience management
• Gateway diversity
• FNRM /Controllers resilience
• VNF orchestration and placement for mobility
• Group mobility in hybrid satellite-terrestrial access
• Performance evaluation of satellite core network VNFs (bandwidth compression factors, improved TCP response, etc.)

WP5 activities started at M7 (August) however the initial discussions on the WP5 general directions were discussed during the Athens meeting, and later consolidated during the summer period. The first step was decided to develop the testbed design and specifications, as part of the activities in Task 5.1. An important step in this aspect was to clarify the partner roles in the different testbed configurations, and the components that are available to the project. This was consolidated by September, and during the meeting at Barcelona during October, testbed architecture discussions were carried out, mainly linking with the usecases that are selected for demonstration.
Initial discussions on the Software architecture and interface specifications for the physical and emulated testbeds were also carried out.
The dissemination and communication plans for the project were discussed and developed during the first phase of the project. As part of Task 6.1, the dissemination and communication strategy and actions were envisaged by VITAL’s Consortium at M03 (reported in D6.1, communication and dissemination plan). Communication and dissemination opportunities were discussed during regular phone conferences as well as during face-to-face meetings in Athens (28-29/05/15) and Barcelona (5-6/10/15). At every PMT meeting a specific time slot has been devoted to identify what may be the candidate targets for VITAL dissemination and the most appropriate WP that can contribute to it. The opportunities have been analysed within the PMT and the decisions have been brought by the WP leader to the WP, defining jointly with the relevant VITAL WP participants the best leaderships to undertake the action. During the first period, 3 publications were reported from the project, with further 2 articles under submission. The project website is also kept up-to-date with information pertaining to the progress in the project, and also the social media channels were setup through an account in Twitter. Further social media activities are planned once the project start to deliver a steady stream of results. Seminars and presentations were also provided during this period, which are reported in deliverable, D6.3.
A standardisation and exploitation plan was also developed within the project, with the identification of the candidate standardisation organizations for VITAL project to target, and also the technical directions that are of interest within the standards. Furthermore, the project partners have contributed to the definition of an early exploitation strategy, at the time of preparation of the deliverable, as a per-partner effort based on the innovations pursued in the project. The exploitation plans per partner will be later consolidated into an overall exploitation and commercialisation structure for the project results, after evaluating the progress of the activities on business modelling and techno-economic evaluation, and the progress made within the relevant Standardisation and other industrial directions towards NFV, especially on multi-domain NFV/SDN management and orchestration.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

VITAL has an ambitious goal to transform convergence between SatCom and terrestrial networks, leveraging the SDN/NFV paradigm. While the SDN/NFV concepts are starting to pave its way into the carrier network domain, allowing more flexible control of communication networks, it is not yet explored within the SatCom domain. Furthermore, the integrated network management infrastructure as proposed in VITAL to achieve flexible and easier hybrid inter-networking between the two domains and in combination with the intelligent NFV infrastructure will create an innovative step in the terrestrial-satellite interworking space with opportunities to create applications offering seamless delivery across the domains. Standards bodies like ETSI, IETF and ONF dealing with SDN/NFV technologies have acknowledged the priority and interests of seeking innovative approaches to address multi-domain network infrastructure management. VITAL will not only contribute to this path, but will also provide practical evidence of their applicability, as well as valuable feedback to the scientific community and industry fora.
A clear impact expected from VITAL is the creation of new market players who can develop and bring to the service providers and operators in order to offer competitive and integrated solutions for SatCom and terrestrial networks with high capacity, economically efficient service provisioning and associated transparent business models. In this way, VITAL will offer competitive solutions for different stakeholders of the SatCom/Terrestrial domains, including operators. Service providers, vendors and customers as established in the technical annex.
To clearly address these aspects and to realize the impact achievement goal, the consortium has adopted a multi-faceted direction, with the involvement of OTE and HSAT as the terrestrial and SatCom operators (being from the same parent organization is an important step for both OTE and HSAT to validate the VITAL solutions which can be quickly integrated and tested in their networks). The software integrator/vendor partners, OneAccess and INCS, are focused to move rapidly from concept and design to implementation and validation of the VITAL concepts. This is also evident from recent efforts from OneAccess to enter the NFV market space. Further, the involvement of SYNAP, UPC and CNES together with the coordination of CNET and NCSRD will create the environment to implement the concrete plan to extend NFV/SDN concepts and implementation to the SatCom segment and the development of federated network/service orchestration platforms for multi-domain environments.
Standardization is a key goal identified by the project towards achieving the project impact as discussed in the deliverable D6.6, and the partners in VITAL project, are committed to initiate pre-standardization activities at an early phase of the project to ensure that impact can be achieved already during the project lifecycle and beyond, also in line with the standardization timeframe. ETSI NFV specification group has advanced with the Telco network virtualization and within this framework; VITAL partners will be able to create a work item (feasibility study, for example) within the ETSI SES in close cooperation with the NFV ISG. The partners also plan to explore relevant opportunities within IETF/IRTF (within the SDNRG/NFVRG) to identify potential opportunities and relevant candidate working groups. Further, the industry groups and open source initiatives of relevance, including ONF (Open Network Foundation) will be monitored continuously by the consortium to exploit any possible opportunity to make an impact within the standards organizations. The project partners will strongly disseminate the concept and business opportunities to industry specific groups including the 5GPPP Working Groups and other industry specific events including EUCNC, SatCom operators conference etc to create a convincing case for VITAL technology to its relevant stakeholders.
Specific exploitation strategies differ for the various industrial partners in the consortium, since different value chains are addressed: technology vendors, manufacturers and telecom operators. The industrial partners will incorporate VITAL research results in internal development projects to produce innovations that can be transferred to their business entities as part of products and business solutions.
Further, the testing and exploitation of results in concrete scenarios will enable the industrial partners to increase the market opportunities and their competences enabling advanced technological developments in the mobile networks domain. The industrial partners will also take the lead role in feeding relevant standardisation bodies and global industry initiatives, apart from contributing to the regulatory landscape in Europe. The industry players will also promote an active patent policy to get royalties on these patents when the technological concepts within VITAL will be more mature and implemented as part of an operational system.
The project has identified three main components that are critical to the development of the federated VITAL system which has the potential to be exploited individually from a commercial as well as technological incubation perspective, as highlighted in deliverable D6.6., and a short overview are provided below:
• Sat-Cloud-RAN: Sat-Cloud-RAN represents the virtualized satellite communication network sub-system, which implements the SatCom ground segment into a cloud-based processing platform following an NFV approach, and connects with the ODU through a dedicated “fronthaul” link. This separation between the virtualized and the physical components can be achieved at various layers of the satellite architecture model such as the network layer, the encapsulation / MAC layer, the physical layer or up to the RF front-end of out-door unit. The aim of this separation is to enable the creation of an environment with fully virtualized capabilities allowing flexible management, installation, maintenance and operation of resources and services, and to facilitate the integration of satellite network in a common terrestrial network as a virtualized infrastructure. Initial architectural traits of Sat-Cloud-RAN are introduced within deliverable D3.1.
• NFV Manager: The VITAL NFV Manager is a management entity specialized for SatCom service providers, which is responsible for the management of the Network Service lifecycle management, and orchestration of the VNF Managers that manages the Sat-Cloud-RAN underlying infrastructure. The NFV manager can b considered as a SatCom domain management and orchestration entity which works in “coordination” with the VITAL Multi-domain orchestrator in order to provision end-to-end network services. The VITAL NFV Manager is an important element in monitoring the overall virtualized SatCom ground network segment in order for the resource management decisions at the orchestrator both for application interaction for dynamic service adaptation and for dynamic service chain scheduling for optimizing infrastructure resources.
• Multi-Domain Orchestrator: The multi-domain orchestrator in VITAL is an end-to-end network service orchestration entity that orchestrates the application and service provisioning functions of the virtualized satellite network, and further also interacts with the federation elements to translate service requirements for the development of the network service descriptors. The orchestrator also manages and optimizes the networking and IT resources for the VNFs, manages and optimizes the NS resources, and further is in charge of the orchestration of SatCom SDN/network control aspects of the Satellite network domain and WAN elements. The joint orchestration of the multi-domain SDN/NFV platform together with a multi-layer SDN orchestration platform for network-centric applications is a key feature of the multi-domain network/service orchestrator developed in VITAL.
While the sub-systems are the most direct impact-creation elements that shall be identified, further innovation is clearly feasible with the proposals for different north-bound interfaces and south-bound interfaces and reference points, that need to be implemented in order to realise the hybrid Proof of Concept deployments [within WP5]. Such interfaces does not directly impact as exploitable assets however can impact the open source platforms based on which the sub-systems are built, and mature-integration of the interfaces will provide valuable outcomes from the project results.
The technology maturation and eventual commercial exploitation of the sub-systems in itself have different impact-lines, which need to be investigated further based on the implementation potential and implementation-maturity during the course of the project. For example, the Sat-Cloud-RAN approach will have severe limitations for the VITAL project to develop as a mature prototype, due to lack of a SatCom gateway vendor in the project. However, the proof-of-concept validation leveraging OpenSAND platform, and further, the final demonstration of the proof-of-concept will provide sufficient indicators in order to explore technology maturation objectives with relevant industrial players.

Cost-effective integration of SatCom with terrestrial systems can definitively contribute to the objectives set out by the Digital Agenda for Europe, being specially relevant its impact on the achievement of: Fast and ultra-fast Internet access, and ICT-enabled benefits for EU society.
Related to the fast and ultra-fast Internet access objective, it is well acknowledged that SatCom solutions will be necessary to reach the 30 Mbps internet access for every European Households, at least to connect those ~10 M House Holds in the low density populated areas that will not be addressed by the terrestrial solutions be they fibre or wireless based. This requires a decrease of the operational cost (e.g. cost per bit) of satellite broadband access solutions as well as the development of low cost Customer Premises Equipment (both hardware and installation costs). Moreover, combining a satellite and terrestrial internet access (e.g. xDSL) technologies enables to offer a triple play service (including high resolution video and TV that might be offloaded to the satellite link) to 100 % of the xDSL subscribers without having to dense the grid of the terrestrial network in the low density populated areas where deployment cost are excessive in regards to the revenue perspective. As well, more cost-effective and high capacity satellite backhauling can definitively help Mobile Network Operators to expand their networks into rural and remote locations. Current operator forecasts allocate 17.5% of all operational costs to backhaul investments. Therefore, the role of satellite communications to complement broadband Internet access would be a unique opportunity to progress the state of the art and the competitiveness of EU manufacturing industry in this market.
In the context of ICT-enabled benefits for EU society, SDN/NFV-based SatCom-terrestrial solutions developed in VITAL, thanks to their dependability/resilience and ubiquitous access properties, can be profitable to increase efficiency in tackling grand societal challenges such as: Transport and mobility; Energy (Smart grid); Crisis management; Content (Culture, knowledge, Digital literacy, skills and inclusion); Healthcare; and Environmental monitoring. While the economics of SatCom networks differ considerably among the different market segments (Broadcast, Backbone/Backhaul, Broadband, Mobile Satellite Systems), cost improvements are essential in all of them. Indeed, in the consumer market (oriented to broadcast and broadband) that is the most price-sensitive, future satellites in Ka band are expected to decrease connection fees (including terminal and installation cost but excluding monthly fee) from 400€ to less than 150€ with respect to Ku satellites, while increasing the downlink date rate from current 5-10 Mbps to well above 100 Mbps.

While acknowledging that an important fraction of the cost in SatCom is associated with the satellite space segment and its operation, undoubtedly innovations such as the ones to be brought by VITAL to the ground segment and its integration with other networks will contribute to further decrease the cost of SatComs to service providers and eventually be able to align its prices and be competitive with other terrestrial systems.

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