Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales to take 5G into space

Ericsson Australia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 14 July, 2022

Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales to take 5G into space

Ericsson, along with French aerospace company Thales and Qualcomm Technologies, is planning to take 5G across the globe with a network of Earth-orbiting satellites. After each conducted research, which included multiple studies and simulations, the parties plan to enter smartphone-use-case-focused testing and validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN).

The result could effectively mean that a future 5G smartphone could use 5G connectivity anywhere on Earth and provide complete global coverage for wideband data services, including places normally only covered by legacy satellite phone systems with limited data connectivity capabilities.

The benefits of 5G connectivity via low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are expected to include coverage in extreme geographies or remote areas across seas, oceans and other locations where terrestrial coverage is absent. Such widespread connectivity would boost 5G smartphone subscriber roaming service capabilities, as well as enabling global connectivity for transportation, energy and health sector 5G use cases.

The space-based network could also be used as back-up support to terrestrial networks in the event of major network outages or disasters.

The expected security capabilities of 5G NTNs mean that national government communications may be a main use case, to enhance safe and secure national security and public safety government networks.

Image caption: Installing Ericsson’s 5G radios at Telstra’s Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, Australia.

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