Tiny 5G satellite to put a tiger into IoT services

Tiny 5G satellite to put a tiger into IoT services

11 May 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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OQ Technology has recruited Lithuanian satellite company NanoAvionics to build a tiny satellite for 5G internet of things services.

OQ Technology expects to generate revenue with this satellite, called Tiger-2, scheduled to be launched this year, followed by further satellites.

“Tiger-2 is an example of a new space start-up breaking barriers and racing with time to get to orbit within a few months, while using an agile approach to quickly deliver 5G connectivity,” said Omar Qaise (pictured), founder and CEO of OQ Technology.

Tiger-2 is classed as a nanosatellite, measuring no bigger than 12×24×36cm, and it will be the latest addition to OQ Technology’s growing low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation. The aim is to provide basic commercial IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) services, using 5G connectivity, to customers with a focus on Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Qaise said: “To grow our constellation and provide global coverage we plan to add more nanosatellites soon.”

NanoAvionics CEO Vytens Buzas said: “Our nano- and microsats are ideal for IoT and Earth observations with single, formation and constellation setups and our rapid integration accelerates the time to market applications for companies like OQ Technology.”

NanoAvionics was founded in 2014 as a spin-off from Vilnius University, Lithuania. The founders of the company consist of the members of the first successful Lithuanian CubeSat project, LituanicaSAT-1, which was one of two first European CubeSats launched from International Space Station.

Tiger-2’s secondary payload will test the feasibility of using high frequencies for 5G IoT radio links. To deliver widespread coverage and 5G IoT/M2M communication, in line with 3GPP recommendations, OQ Technology is using sub-6GHz spectrum.

Buzas said: “One key element for the success of our mission operations is that we’ve significantly increased how frequently our nano- and microsatellites can send data back to Earth data through the global ground station networks of our partners.”

Qaise said: “What makes OQ Technology different is its combination of cellular and satellite technologies … This allows us to bring the 5G revolution to countries where terrestrial infrastructure and expensive satellite costs have been a bottleneck.”

OQ Technology has offices in Luxembourg, the UAE and Rwanda.