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South Korean Telco to Test Satellite for 5G Backhaul in Demonstration

By Mark Holmes | February 4, 2021

Photo by KT SAT

Thales Alenia Space is going to be taking part in a 5G demonstration in Asia, the company announced Thursday. It will partner with South Korean operator KT SAT, subsidiary of one of the world’s first 5G commercial service providers, Korea Telecom, to lead a 5G demonstration using the Geostationary (GEO) Koreasat 5A telecommunication satellite to provide a 5G network to remote areas.

KT SAT will use 5G backhauling as a key element of satellite integration in the 5G world. This experiment consists in backhauling the connection between a 5G core network and a 5G gNB through KT SAT Koreasat-5A. In this case, the satellite is not only a complement to terrestrial 5G network but a fully integrated part of it by receiving the 5G network from Earth and then returning it to remote areas where traditional backhauling technologies (wired, fiber, radio beams) are not suitable for technical and/or economic reasons.

In November last year, KT SAT unveiled a router for hybrid satellite-terrestrial 5G transmission. The hybrid router, demonstrated online, was developed with the KT Institute of Convergence Technology, further expanding the role of satellites in 5G services.

“This satellite-based 5G backhaul experiment using Koreasat has opened possibilities for 5G communications without geographical divisions caused by mountains and oceans. Based on this technology, KT SAT will expand its global outreach, particularly in Southeast Asia where terrestrial network construction faces difficulties,” KT SAT CEO Song Kyung-Min said in a statement.