Home5G & BeyondOmnispace gets Smart advice on satellite 5G

    Omnispace gets Smart advice on satellite 5G


    Claims it will create world’s first ‘truly’ global service

    A new contestant for the global 5G telephony space race has emerged, after a pact was announced between Washington-based satellite launcher Omnispace and Smart Communications a wireless subsidiary of Philippine telco PLDT.

    In a release the collaborators said they will explore and demonstrate the potential for space-based 5G comms. Ultimately Omnispace aims to use low earth orbit (LEO) satellites for a global telecom service. Meanwhile, the possible use cases for the Smart-Omnispace partnership include connecting remote areas, aiding disaster relief and saving the planet from climate change. 

    Omnispace describes its ambition as being the world’s first ‘truly global’ 5G network provider because it will unite mobile roaming with satellite technology. However, it has competition. AST SpaceMobile is due to launch in September and three Telefónica divisions, Telefónica Tech and Telefónica Global Solutions (TGS) and Sateliot, a satellite telecoms operator, are creating a global satellite service using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations to provide 5G NB-IoT connections. Equipment maker Ericsson, French aerospace group Thales and US chipmaker Qualcomm are also working on a satellite-driven 5G network to improve terrestrial coverage.

    Omnispace has already launched two low earth orbit (LEO) satellites, Spark-1 in April 2022 and the Spark-2 in March, code-naming this deployment phase as Omnispace Spark. The Omnispace 5G NTN (non-terrestrial network) will interconnect with terrestrial or land-based mobile networks to serve mobile subscribers with the company’s 2 GHz mobile satellite spectrum allocation and operating in 3GPP band n256. There is no news yet on whether special equipment is needed or if the network can synch with normal handsets. 

    “As the world’s first 3GPP-compliant 5G NTN system, the Omnispace network is expected to deliver the power of 5G directly to billions of devices everywhere, extending the reach of mobile connectivity to enable people and assets to communicate in real-time through a single, seamless global service,” said its statement.  

    “Together with Smart, we seek to bridge the digital divide” said Brian Pemberton, CEO of Omnispace.