European Space Agency

Integrated QoS and Resources Management in DVB-RCS Networks: Alcatel Space


The project objectives are to define and evaluate various scenarios for QoS support in future integrated satellite/terrestrial networks. New networking and access equipment architectures shall be proposed, including support for new functions and protocols allowing enhanced QoS management. These architectures shall be defined as stepwise evolutions from the current DVB-RCS systems for operation over transparent or regenerative satellite access networks.


The major QoS enhancements considered in the project are:

  • Layer 3 QoS based on IP DiffServ architecture

  • Mapping of IP DiffServ classes, with associated classification, conditioning and scheduling functions, into MAC layer classes and their associated DVB-RCS Capacity Categories

  • Proposal for Traffic Classes definition in order to support the wider variety of present and future services and applications

  • Integrated satellite/terrestrial QoS architecture based on latest advances in Next Generation Networks definition, allowing to support end-to-end QoS differentiation, QoS admission control and QoS enforcement through coupling between application/session layers and network/transport layers.


The proposed architecture allows an evolutionary deployment of QoS features in DVB-RCS systems.

Its implementation will be beneficial to all players of the satellite broadband service delivery. The architecture can accommodate a large number of different types of Service Providers, thanks to standardised interfaces towards the transport networks. The introduction of QoS-aware components will foster competition and will therefore stimulate a better service offering (better performance) to subscribers at lower prices. These advantages can be obtained since the satellite connections and SLAs (Service Level Agreements) can be managed in a dynamic way, according to actual user's needs (over-provisioning is no more required). It is likely that this will push users towards a new wealth of applications, especially voice and conferencing, on-demand content streaming, etc.

In-between Service Providers and subscribers, the DVB-RCS Access Provider will also see its business thrive. It will be able to interact with more Service Providers thanks to standardised interfaces that mask the specificity of the access networks. Network dimensioning and planning is less of an issue, thanks to dynamic time-based or session-based Bandwidth-on-Demand. The Access Provider can therefore sell real bandwidth, which means bandwidth that the Service Provider knows is being used by its subscribers for a given activity and therefore can be billed accordingly. Dynamic bandwidth allocation leads to better resource utilisation (bandwidth efficiency), since over-provisioning is not needed anymore; therefore more subscribers can be supported on a given system bandwidth.


The project addresses several scenarios of integrated terrestrial/satellite networks, considering:

  • Various network topologies (star/mesh, core/access)

  • Various satellite technologies (transparent, regenerative)

  • All application types (B2B, B2C, Consumer, with or without explicit QoS signalling)

  • All standard IP QoS solutions (IntServ, DiffServ).
Two satellite systems are considered:

  • A star network based on transparent bent-pipe satellite, using DVB-RCS ATM transport mode on the return link

  • A mesh network based on multi-beam regenerative satellite, using DVB-RCS MPEG transport mode.

Advanced QoS management capabilities are considered, both within satellite system equipment (Satellite Terminal, Gateways) and terrestrial networks, such as:

  • QoS aware network equipment

  • Admission control mechanisms

  • Interaction between call signalling, resources management and admission control.


The project is divided into four tasks:

  • Task 1: A number of business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-only (CO) scenarios that reflect current and future usage of integrated terrestrial/satellite networks, in terms of QoS and resource management, will be defined. Current practices of terrestrial ISPs and satellite link providers in terms of QoS provisioning will be investigated. Then a trade-off analysis will be pursued between possible implementations for QoS provisioning for the different scenarios and system requirements will be defined.

  • Task 2: The mapping of scenarios selected in Task 1 into satellite access equipment will be detailed. This will lead to a first level design of the possible satellite QoS architectures, with emphasis on Satellite Terminal and Radio Resource Management functions.

  • Task 3: A second level of the design will be performed on identified improvements needed at satellite access or networking level. Future prototyping activities will then be proposed with a first-cut costing estimates in order to implement those proposed changes into DVB-RCS products.

  • Task 4 is dedicated to project results dissemination. It is actually spread over the whole course of the project. Contributions to fora and standardisation bodies, mainly SatLabs and ETSI BSM, will be made.

Current status

The project was kicked-off in May 2003. Final Review was held on May 26th 2004.

Status date

Friday, January 30, 2009 - 14:34