The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has published the ETSI Technical Committee for Satellite Earth stations and Systems (TC SES) specification TS 102 855, which considers how broadband satellite multimedia networks can be integrated into the Next Generation Network (NGN) architecture. It explores the technical challenges for satellite networks to adopt this new network model.

The NGN concept standardized by ETSI presents an opportunity for satellites to take a more integrated role in global telecommunications networks. The NGN architecture can be used to provide seamless integration between fixed satellite networks and terrestrial networks as part of a wider fixed and mobile network convergence.

This new specification defines the integration and interoperability of Broadband Satellite Multimedia networks with the emerging terrestrial Next Generation Network architecture. The evolution of existing broadband satellite systems toward an NGN infrastructure will be crucial for the successful integration of satellite systems in new converged telecommunications networks.

One of the main characteristics of the NGN architecture is the uncoupling of services and underlying transport functions (i.e. network technologies), allowing services and transport to be offered separately and to evolve independently, with open interfaces provided between them.