New Mobile Satellite Industry Association to Advance Global Connectivity for Direct-to-Device and IoT Services

Satellite IoT

  • The Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA) has a vision of integrating terrestrial and non-terrestrial network (NTN) services to deliver scalable, sustainable, and affordable connectivity to any device, anytime, anywhere
  • Enables over 100 MHz of standards-based, interoperable L- and S-band spectrum for D2D across multiple MSS networks globally

Viasat, Inc., Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat) today announced the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA).

MSSA will bring significant scale and choice to promote and advance the emerging Direct-to-Device (D2D) ecosystem.

MSSA seeks to develop a global ecosystem utilizing over 100 MHz of L- and S-band spectrum already allocated and licensed for mobile satellite services (MSS), which is well-suited for integration into a broad range of mobile devices. The non-profit industry association intends to align with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards to extend terrestrial mobile coverage for both Mobile Network Operator (MNO) and Over-the-Top (OTT) internet services.

MSS licensed spectrum advantages include: enabling existing space networks to immediately offer Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) services, an existing international regulatory framework, no interference with terrestrial networks, and more spectrum to advance 5G New Radio (5G-NR) services. MSS spectrum enables all MNOs to offer space/terrestrial integration in their entire service area without having to sacrifice terrestrial spectrum.

By aligning their expertise, along with other ecosystem partners, the founding members support integrating terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) to deliver scalable, sustainable and affordable connectivity to any device, anytime, anywhere. Emerging D2D services can expand connectivity and enable competition across multiple large and diverse segments, including cellular, industrial, government, agriculture, automotive and others. The Association will foster a D2D ecosystem of solutions providers including terrestrial mobile and satellite operators, OEMs, infrastructure, chip vendors, and others.

“Integrating satellite connectivity into consumer mobile devices is a transformative opportunity for the satellite industry. As a coalition of leaders with a unified voice, MSSA will be a driving force in making this new marketplace a reality, while respecting the rights of nations to meaningfully engage and retain sovereignty in a rapidly growing space economy,” said Mark Dankberg, Chairman of MSSA, and Chairman and CEO of Viasat.

“The Association will help create opportunities to scale NTN systems via open, standards-based solutions for D2D and IoT. We believe this can be done while preserving critical MSS aviation and maritime safety services and by expanding the markets supporting diverse users through substantial improvements in speed, bandwidth, availability, interoperability and affordability.”

MSSA is focused on achieving the following fundamental goals:

  • Unlocking interoperable architectures and standards for use in multi-orbit satellite systems, ground infrastructure and end user equipment
  • Enhancing seamless global roaming between terrestrial and multi-orbit satellite networks through the development of recommended specifications
  • Achieving scale through improved coordination and cooperation mechanisms among MSS operators to maximize the utility of over 100 MHz of already available and licensed global MSS spectrum in nations desiring advanced NTN services
  • Maximizing scarce multi-orbit space and spectrum resources and employing sustainable network design and operation to enable affordable advanced NTN services
  • Advocating for policies, laws and regulations, including those related to rational, efficient, safe and sustainable uses of spectrum and orbits, and where appropriate, objective and quantitative metrics regarding all objects in orbit around Earth
  • Providing a neutral forum for coordination of 3GPP NTN and other international standards activities
  • Supporting the integration of space networks into national telecommunications infrastructure via trusted local partners and within sovereign regulatory and national security frameworks
  • Supporting mechanisms for individual nations to participate in the new space economy via open standards and architectures, and via the space networks supported by MSSA
For more information on the formation and mission of MSSA, visit the Association’s website:

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