We can do 5G from space, says Intelsat after demonstration
Satellite operator Intelsat has demonstrated 5G mobile from space, working with a German research institute and a US antenna specialist.
Intelsat said the demonstration shows that 5G technology can be used successfully over satellite services.
It is “a significant milestone toward recognising our future vision of an end-to-end ecosystem for a unified software-defined 5G network on a global scale”, said Intelsat CTO Bruno Fromont.
Intelsat was working with Kymeta, a US company that makes electronically steered flat-panel antennas (pictured, on roof of car), and Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, on of the network of German Fraunhofer research and development centres.
“Our participation in this early testing for the development of 5G standards over satellite is an important step in the next generation of connectivity and where 5G is heading,” said Ryan Stevenson, VP and chief scientist at Kymeta.
The demonstration was held at Kymeta’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, in partnership with Intelsat to help develop 5G satellite communication technology for mobility.
“Our participation in this early testing for the development of 5G standards over satellite is an important step in the next generation of connectivity and where 5G is heading,” said Stevenson.
Fraunhofer group manager Thomas Heyn said: “Satellite-enabled 5G services have the potential to provide worldwide connectivity.”
The mobile industry’s standards body, 3GPP, includes satellite services under its non-terrestrial networks category. “Fraunhofer IIS is focused on developing and prototyping technologies that are vital for the future, such as 5G non-terrestrial networks as currently standardized in 3GPP,” said Heyn.
The companies suggested that this demonstration is a step towards “hybrid connectivity across satellite and ground cellular networks to develop solutions that satisfy the overwhelming demand for communications on the move”.