Philippines mobile operator Smart is collaborating with satellite operator Omnispace to explore and demonstrate the capabilities of space-based 5G communications using low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
It’s a collaboration that the partners believe will be able to define use cases for the Philippine market. These use cases could include enabling 5G connectivity in remote areas, incorporating IoT and sensors for use in monitoring weather disturbances and natural calamities, and augmenting network coverage for disaster relief, as well as enabling maritime and telematics applications for vessels and equipment.
Arvin L Siena, Head of Smart owner PLDT’s Technology Strategy and Transformation Office, says, “This is also part of PLDT’s broader initiatives to future-proof our services, including Smart 5G. This includes exploring opportunities to team up with companies like Omnispace to test the interoperability of our network with their 3GPP-compliant 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN), which will support the 5G ecosystem of the future.”
Having launched Omnispace Spark-1 and Spark-2 in April and May, respectively, the company recently completed the deployment phase of Omnispace Spark. This programme is the initial phase in the company’s development and delivery of what it calls the world’s first global 5G-capable satellite network.
The Omnispace 5G NTN global network – the world’s first 3GPP-compliant 5G NTN system – will interconnect with terrestrial or land-based mobile networks to serve mobile subscribers utilizing the company’s 2GHz mobile satellite spectrum allocation and operating in 3GPP band n256.