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LeoSat Joins Forces with ESA on Satellite for 5G

By Kendall Russell | June 23, 2017
      Artist rendition of LeoSat satellites.

      Artist rendition of LeoSat satellites. Photo: Thales Alenia Space.

      LeoSat, which is launching a constellation of up to 108 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) data communications satellites, has signed a joint statement with the European Space Agency (ESA) and 15 satellite industry leaders to develop and demonstrate the added value that satellite brings in the context of 5G.

      With data traffic predicted to increase almost four-fold by 2020 to 4 ZB per year, one of the key challenges for the mobility sector is achieving scalable, flexible solutions for their expanding networks. Backhaul for mobile networks is crucial to ensure speed and capacity for data transportation from distributed network sites to the network core. Now with the new developments in satellite constellations, next generation LEO systems such as LeoSat’s can potentially provide the connectivity, resilience and security required by 5G for significant sectors of industry.

      As part of an ESA Satellite for 5G initiative foreseen over 2018 to 2020 and beyond, ESA and the European space industry will work together on: 5G service trials, including satellite capabilities, with a focus on selected sectors targeted by 5G such as transport, media and entertainment, and public safety; transversal activities in the areas of applications development, standardization, resource management aspects, interoperability demonstration campaigns, and supporting technologies; and outreach activities.

      Magali Vaissiere, ESA director of telecommunications and integrated applications, and representatives from 16 satellite operators, service providers and manufacturers signed the joint statement. It advocates for further convergence between European industry and institutions on 5G.