NTNs: Connecting First Responders with Life-saving Information

Non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) are becoming increasingly critical in providing wireless connectivity to areas where terrestrial networks cannot ensure coverage. Because NTNs operate above the earth’s surface, they can deliver seamless coverage to remote areas that lack traditional wireless access and increase overall resilience.

One use case in which NTNs are indispensable for public safety services including emergency, rescue, fire, police, etc., since natural disasters or other acts can often make terrestrial networks inoperable. NTNs can help ensure first responder communications in these services.

NTNs have many technical challenges that must be overcome to fill those coverage gaps successfully. Examples include round-trip delays and cell mobility, which were addressed in 3GPP Release 17. Recognizing the obstacles associated with NTNs and implementing proper testing procedures will help ensure the operation and improve wireless connectivity in critical areas and situations.

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