MediaTek and Inmarsat partner on two-way satellite communications

MediaTek and Inmarsat partner on two-way satellite communications

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MediaTek and Inmarsat have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand their partnership to include two-way satellite services.

Both parties are focused on enabling mobile operators, smartphone and other device manufacturers to offer satellite services, such as two-way text messaging, emergency communications, device tracking and monitoring, among other capabilities, without the need for pointing.

“With MediaTek, we can offer smartphone companies and others a fast and consumer friendly path to satellite to device capability that allows two-way communications and does not require complex 'aiming' of the device," said Jat Brainch, chief commercial and digital officer at Inmarsat.

“Our network holds real potential to support a revolution in direct-to-device, IoT and car connectivity and we are delighted to be partnering with MediaTek, a recognised world-leading innovator in 5G NTN technology. The combination of our joint capabilities can bring rapid access to 5G satellite services for consumer and professional users, and the wider 5G ecosystem across the world.”

The collaboration between the two uses proven 5G non-terrestrial networks standards, existing chip sets and global satellite infrastructure, enabling the rapid introduction of new non-terrestrial networks services.

This latest partnership builds on the numerous Inmarsat and MediaTek live, in-orbit trials of two-way communications to demonstrate the effectiveness of combining their technologies and space assets in real-life applications.

As a result of this work, MediaTek chipsets and Inmarsat’s L-band network are today being trialled by major network operators and device manufacturers for direct-to-device, two-way satellite connectivity.

“MediaTek’s growing partnership with Inmarsat opens up new possibilities for the convergence of cellular and satellite networks," said JC Hsu, corporate vice president of MediaTek.

"MediaTek is a leading solution provider and contributor to 3GPP NTN standards, and our ongoing work with Inmarsat GEO satellites will help drive 5G innovation across multiple markets, including smartphones. The unique qualities of Inmarsat’s narrowband satellite network and the spectrum capacity they have available will be able to support a multitude of new devices and services.”

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