Ericsson, Thales, and Qualcomm are collaborating to create a satellite-powered 5G network to boost terrestrial connectivity. The development of a 5G mobile device that can connect to satellites will provide communication from far-flung regions of the planet, as well as a competitive challenge to Elon Musk's Starlink's pricey satellite phones and other broadband internet services.
Before conducting experiments in space, the firms will conduct simulations on the ground. "Discussions are underway for testing on the International Space Station and with a few satellites," said Hakan Djuphammar, head of Special Projects at Ericsson's technology arm. In the event of a major outage or calamity, a space-based network might be utilized to backup terrestrial networks and provide connections in regions that aren't serviced by traditional telecoms.
Testing would extend into 2023, and it must be determined whether the technology can do this, as well as whether a network of satellites may connect with phones. "The satellites move swiftly, so the connection changes rapidly," Djuphammar said. We'll do all those tests to confirm that the technology is mature and capable of performing these tasks.