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Ligado Taps Sony Semiconductor Israel for Chips for IoT Mobile Satellite Network

By Rachel Jewett | June 6, 2022
Communication network around Earth. Photo: NASA, Via Satellite

Communication network around Earth. Photo: NASA, Via Satellite

Ligado Networks has selected Sony Semiconductor Israel to develop chipsets for the company’s 5G mobile satellite network for IoT use. 

Sony has agreed to manufacture IoT chipsets compatible with Ligado’s L-band mobile satellite system (MSS) spectrum. 3GPP has standardized this spectrum as Band 255 for non-terrestrial networks. Sony said it will ​​build on extensive design efforts and standards coordination to adapt 5G IoT technology to Ligado’s spectrum. Sony said adding satellite connectivity to its 5G IoT chipsets will improve “utility for critical communications customers and expand our market reach.”

“As a leader in developing IoT standards for mobile satellite networks, we are excited to work with Sony to advance new capabilities and serve the growing market for 5G mobile satellite connectivity anywhere in the U.S. and across North America,” said Sachin Chhibber, Ligado CTO. “This satellite capability will also support our 5G mobile private network solution by enabling ubiquitous coverage and reliability, which are essential for critical infrastructure enterprises as they modernize operations.”

Ligado is working to deploy a 5G satellite IoT network to connect millions of devices across North America for use cases like wide-area vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, smart metering, and critical messaging.

Ligado and Sony said the work will be completed in several phases and set a goal to conduct initial technology trials by the end of the year. The companies announced the deal on June 1, and did not release financial details. 

Ligado previously chose Mavenir as its partner to develop base stations and reached separate agreements with Nokia and Rakuten to collaborate on private networks.