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OQ Technology’s Pathfinder 5G IoT Mission to Launch in March

By Mark Holmes | December 2, 2022

NanoAvionics assembles the MACSAT satellite bus. Photo: NanoAvionics via OQ Technology

OQ Technology has announced that its ‘MACSAT’ mission supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) will launch in March on a Vega-C rocket. The company announced the launch window Dec. 1. The company is a satellite cellular 5G IoT operator that aims to provide global cellular Internet-of-Things and machine-to-machine communication solutions through satellites.

The on-orbit pathfinder mission, built by NanoAvionics, is aimed at demonstrating advanced 5G IoT services. It will be able to process a high number of 5G enabled devices via strategic satellite frequencies that are common with terrestrial mobile from LEO.

The company also recently completed a 13 million euros ($13.61 million) Series A funding round. MACSAT is a 2 million euros ($2.1 million) smallsat mission led by OQ Technology as the prime contractor and funded by the Luxembourg Government through an ESA contract in the Luxembourg National Space programme (LuxIMPULSE). The mission will be used to test advanced 5G IoT algorithms, paving the way for qualifying existing 5G NB (narrowband)-IoT chips for commercial via-satellite deployment. It will also be part of OQ Technology’s constellation to offer commercial connectivity services.

“With the cellular direct-to-device heating up, OQ Technology is well positioned to be a pioneer in connecting cellular IoT devices to LEO satellites with its first successful narrowband IoT waveform mission back in 2019. With many customers from the energy, logistics, agriculture, and maritime market interested in OQ’s solution and large telcos willing to onboard satellite cellular IoT products, OQ Technology is well positioned to serve these customers next year,” Omar Qaise, founder and CEO, OQ Technology said in a statement.