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Kcell and SES handover signals from satellite to celltowers

Sandeep Jalan SES.jpg

Kazakhstan’s Kcell has successfully handed over 3G and 4G mobile signals between its terrestrial network and SES’s O3b satellites.

According to SES, its medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites performed the handover without any delays or impact on the signal, with services at 50Mbps for 4G and 30Mbps for 3G.

Sandeep Jalan (pictured), CFO at SES, said: “This demonstration underscores what two like-minded companies can achieve together, and we are delighted to see the results proving how our medium earth orbit satellite technology can empower [mobile network operators] like Kcell to further enable and expand their network capabilities in Kazakhstan.”

In the trial, SES’s satellite network was validated with a series of technical and end-user tests, proving its compatibility with Kcell’s network to enable low-latency and high-speed internet.

According to Luxembourg-based SES, “the technical phase of the demonstration examined potential signal delays caused by weather conditions as well as the handover process between the O3b satellites”.

Because the MEO satellites are just 8,000km above the surface, latency was low – about a fifth of the figure for a geostationary satellite link.

Kirill Strashenko, acting CTO at Kcell, said: “While working with SES on this demonstration, we had the pleasure to be one of the first mobile operators in the country to test their O3b satellite communications network capabilities and see the advantages.”

Kcell was owned by Telia for six years until 2018, when the Swedish group disposed of all its operations outside the Nordic region.

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