Mavenir demos NB-IoT non-terrestrial network connectivity


Wednesday, 28 February, 2024

Mavenir demos NB-IoT non-terrestrial network connectivity

Network software provider Mavenir has successfully completed a mobile data call in cooperation with Ligado Networks, a leading provider of mobile satellite services (MSS) in North America. The connection consisted of a 3GPP Rel-17 narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) non-terrestrial network (NTN) data connection deployed over the Ligado SkyTerra satellite network.

Using a cloud-native NB-IoT radio access network (RAN) solution, the Mavenir NTN service platform was integrated with the Ligado Ground-Based Beam Former (GBBF) over a digital interface, providing an adaptable, high-directivity connection to specific user equipment (UE) on the ground via the satellite link. The team successfully demonstrated a UE connected to the satellite beam on a narrow 200 kHz carrier within 3GPP-standardised band n255, ie, L-band spectrum already designated and fully licensed for MSS operations.

“The Ligado satellite network leverages bent-pipe architecture, allowing for the rapid development and deployment of NTN services as they become available and for the continued evolution of our services alongside the standards,” said Sachin Chhibber, Chief Technology Officer at Ligado Networks. “This milestone with Mavenir highlights our ability to adapt quickly to support NTN technologies that will bridge the gap between terrestrial and satellite communications.”

Mavenir noted that the adoption of 3GPP-compliant NTN technology enables satellite networks to support devices using mainstream, low-cost chipsets that can also operate on terrestrial IoT networks. The latest demonstration paves the way towards the delivery of seamless integration of satellite technology with the mobile networks of the future, extending coverage to remote regions and challenging geographies while supporting a variety of innovative IoT applications, including vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, first responder connectivity and smart metering.

“Next-generation NTN networks will connect remote and rural areas with advanced communication services in ways that have not been possible before — boosting economic and social development and enabling new applications that will empower many industries to innovate and grow,” said BG Kumar, President of Access Networks, Platforms and Digital Enablement at Mavenir. “We are proud to be playing a defining role in delivering that connected future.”

Image credit: iStock.com/johan63

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