Space is the next big thing in the business world. All the tech giants are trying to show their dominance in the space sector. Even in the communications sector, space is going to play a vital role, with satellites now offering broadband connectivity. MediaTek, a globally recognised fabless semiconductor manufacturer, has demonstrated 5G connectivity from space to a smartphone. In a release, the company said that it powered by a 5G smartphone with a 5G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) connection in a lab environment for the first time. It is a big breakthrough for MediaTek as well as a good development for the consumers to hear who might be able to soon get their hands on smartphones which can connect with 5G networks from space. MediaTek collaborated with Rohde & Schwarz for this demonstration.
The test equipment was provided by Rohde & Schwarz, and the test took place in a MediaTek lab. The test was done emulating a realistic LEO satellite constellation at 600 km altitude where each of the satellites is moving extremely fast at nearly 27,000 km per hour in the orbit. For the test, the smartphone was equipped with MediaTek's NR NTN-enabled chip connected to the test gNB by ITRI.
"MediaTek has successfully validated the capability of connecting a 5G smartphone to the satellite networks, opening up the door for 5G satellite network development to bring ubiquitous connectivity around the world," said HC Wang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek.
The test shows how a standard smartphone with a common form factor and components can support connectivity with a satellite network for mobile communications. Telecom operators around the world have partnered with several tech companies and satcom (satellite communications) to work on 5G from space. It will be a revolution as and when 5G from space is launched because then the limitations of terrestrial networks won't matter.