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16 February 20232 minute read

Satellite-to-cellular services, now and into the future: A technical and regulatory overview

The telecommunications industry has seen significant growth in new and innovative technologies that expand service options and availability for consumers. Among these advances has been the convergence of satellite and cellular technologies.

Satellite-to-cellular, or sat-to-cell, technology enables terrestrial cellular service to overcome some coverage limitations, such as restrictions on tower placement or land use. Sat-to-cell allows wireless coverage to extend into areas that are too difficult to serve (due to geography, lack of power, or lack of available fiber) using only cellular technology.

Several companies have worked to develop sat-to-cell into a viable service and are now being followed into the space by major providers and equipment manufacturers. In this handbook, we provide an overview of current sat-to-cell initiatives, as well as the engineering and regulatory issues implicated by this nascent service.

With increasing deployments and partnerships to provide sat-to-cell, we expect the service will be a major focus for regulators in 2023 and beyond.

Download our regulatory overview.

DLA Piper’s highly experienced Engineering Services team leverages the firm’s global reach to provide engineering analysis combined with legal advice and advocacy that integrates technical arguments. The team’s experience and capabilities have helped many companies navigate these and other novel, complex issues.

For more information, please contact any of us:

Thomas Dombrowsky
Senior Engineering Advisor

Ian Forbes

Zachary L Rosenbaum
Senior Engineering Advisor