Ericsson, Thales, and Qualcomm Technologies will conduct smartphone-use-case-focused testing and validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN). The goal of the testing will be to validate various technology components needed to enable 5G non-terrestrial networks, including a 5G smartphone, satellite payload and 5G network pieces on the ground.
The benefits of 5G connectivity via low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are expected to include coverage in extreme geographies or remote areas across seas, oceans and other locations where terrestrial coverage is absent.
Ericsson plans to verify a 5G virtual RAN (vRAN) stack, modified to handle radio signals propagating (what happens to 5G radio waves travelling through the vacuum of space and the Earth’s atmosphere) via the fast-moving LEO satellites.
The testing follows the March 2022 go-ahead by 3GPP to support non-terrestrial networks for the first time.
Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “This testing and validation cooperation between Ericsson, Thales and Qualcomm Technologies will be a major milestone in the history of communications as the ultimate result could effectively mean that no matter where you are on Earth – in the middle of an ocean or the remotest forest – high-end, secure and cost-effective connectivity will be available through collaborative 5G satellite and terrestrial connectivity.”