Mobile satellite network will connect tens of millions Internet of Things devices across the U.S. and North America.
Mobile communications company Ligado Networks today advanced its plan to deploy the first 5G mobile satellite network for the Internet of Things, announcing it is partnering with Mavenir to develop base stations for advanced connectivity services that enable business-critical operations anywhere in the United States and North America.
Ligado’s 5G satellite IoT network will support tens of millions of mobile devices powering critical machine-to-machine communications for businesses requiring ubiquitous, continental coverage. The company plans to launch service trials in 2022, providing standalone satellite or multi-layer connections to enterprise customers in the transportation, agriculture, utilities, and energy sectors.
The satellite network adds extended coverage and network redundancy to the company’s planned 5G mobile private network solution, thereby enabling always-on connectivity and coverage across an enterprise’s entire footprint. It will also add to the capabilities of other terrestrial wireless operators by making use of mainstream, low-cost chipsets and devices that can support both mobile satellite and terrestrial connectivity.
“We are deeply committed to supporting critical infrastructure enterprises as they modernize their operations for a 21st Century economy,” said Ligado Chief Executive Officer Doug Smith.
“Ubiquitous network coverage and reliability are especially essential for critical device communications, which makes our 5G satellite IoT network a pivotal tool to ensure always-on connectivity and data management for an enterprise’s entire fleet of devices.”
Ligado plans to adapt 3GPP standards-based technology for mobile satellite use, which will enable the network to support devices using mainstream, low-cost chipsets that can also operate on terrestrial IoT networks. With the 22-meter reflector-based antenna of Ligado’s SkyTerra 1 satellite, the network will also support the small, low-cost IoT devices being used for innovative applications like vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, first-responder connectivity, and smart metering.
Mavenir’s complete portfolio of cloud native solutions provides mobile core, IoT, and Open vRAN for 5G.
“We are excited to work with Ligado on ORAN-based 5G base station development. With this engagement, Mavenir and the ORAN ecosystem not only strengthen their place in enterprise deployments but also enter a phase of innovation in cellular service delivery via non-terrestrial networks,” said Pardeep Kohli, president and CEO of Mavenir. “We are looking forward to expanding our Open RAN product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks and their co-existence in the future.”
The partnership highlights Ligado’s industry leadership in developing IoT standards for mobile satellite networks. The company has led work within the 3GPP to develop such standards, which will help satellite and terrestrial networks operate in harmony.
“We’re delighted to apply Mavenir’s unmatched 5G network technology prowess to deliver 3GPP-based IoT services via the crucial mobile satellite network layer,” said Ligado Chief Technology Officer Maqbool Aliani. “Ligado’s uniquely capable North American satellite network unlocks a highly compelling market by bringing mainstream IoT devices to a continental satellite footprint.”