The satellite communications (satcom) sector is going to develop significantly over the next decade as investments from private companies and groups flow in. The governments across the world have been introducing and modifying policies to make the space sector lucrative for investors. 5G networks are also going to see massive growth by the end of this decade. However, 5G won’t just be limited as a terrestrial networking technology. In the future, you will also get to see 5G services from space. Here’s what you need to know.
Big Players Working Together to Make 5G from Space a Reality
Some of the biggest names in the communications tech industry are working together to make 5G from space a reality. Qualcomm, Ericsson along with Thales, a French aerospace company, have announced a collaboration to test and develop 5G connectivity solutions using LEO (low earth orbit) satellite constellations.
The companies have already conducted studies to test the feasibility of their project. Now, they are ready to begin with, testing smartphone use cases and the validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN).
This would enable places in the extreme geographies to get internet connectivity where traditional terrestrial network/fibre can’t reach. Even seas and big waterways, where network connectivity is usually missing, 5G NTN can make a big difference.
Erik Ekudden, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Ericsson, said that this would be a major milestone in the history of communications as the ultimate result could mean that a user can be anywhere in the world, be it in the middle of an ocean or the remotest forest, he/she can get 5G satellite connectivity.
But this might take a little time. Further, just how the telcos and the satcom companies partner and on what basis will also determine the extent to which this technology would grow. It would, of course, be the best thing if the user could get 5G connectivity from space. However, for that, users would also need a smartphone that can support satellite 5G connectivity.