Nearly one third of the world’s population has never accessed the Internet, despite the increased demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, which linked some fundamental human needs like education to having ubiquitous connectivity. Terrestrial cellular networks are not fairly accessible all over the globe as it is highly affected by geographical and economic factors.
For instance, deploying 5G towers in remote isolated regions with sparse populations is not economically viable. Furthermore, providing Internet connectivity for aircraft and maritime vessels cannot be fulfilled by terrestrial networks only.
Recently, low Earth orbit communication networks have been developed as a promising solution to provide global Internet coverage, especially for under-served regions for which reliable terrestrial connectivity cannot be guaranteed all the time. Significant reduction in launch costs of satellites led to successful and rapid commercialization of these networks, e.g., Starlink, Kuiper, LightSpeed, and OneWeb.
Moreover, there has been recently partnering between some cellular network providers and satellite networks, such as the partnership between T-mobile US and Starlink, indicating that the integration of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks is about to happen soon.
To leverage the full potential of low Earth orbit broadband networks, a comprehensive analytical framework on their performance is crucial. Such analytical results significantly accelerate their design, development, and integration into the existing cellular networks, as promised for the 6th generation of cellular networks. As a result, no user all over the globe will be unprivileged to access the Internet and stay connected.
“Other than performance evaluation, the theoretical analysis of these networks can be utilized for optimization of diﬀerent network parameters which will avoid over-estimation of network resources and, consequently, lead to a remarkable drop in the operational costs of LEO communication systems”, says Niloofar Okati.
Niloofar Okati conducted this research during 2018 – 2022 at Tampere University, in Tampere. She is currently a radio research scientist at Nokia Bell Labs, in Espoo.
Public defence on Friday 14 April
The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Niloofar Okati in the field of wireless communications titled Modeling and Analysis of Massive Low Earth Orbit Communication Networks will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University in the Auditorium TB109 of the Tietotalo building, Korkeakoulunkatu 1, Tampere, on 14th of April 2023, at 12 o’clock. The opponent will be Professor François Baccelli from Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA), France. The Custos will be Associate Professor Taneli Riihonen from the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University.
The doctoral dissertation is available online.
The public defence can be followed via remote connection.
Photograph: Nastaran Okati