Understand what the future 5G internet from space should look like | 5G

oTech companies around the world are already working to make the next generation of satellites compatible with 5G internet and mobile devices. Giants such as Ericsson, Thales, Qualcomm, T-Mobile and even SpaceX – owned by billionaire Elon Musk – have shown interest in researching ways to enable the 5G connection, which would use LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites. to help mobile phones, cars, smart traffic lights and equipment using IoT (Internet of Things) work in remote and rural areas.

If the idea works, LEO satellites would be fundamental in the extension of 5G networks, making the internet signal constant, even if the user is in the middle of the ocean, for example. In theory, the connection would not cease even if the consumer changed country during a trip or, in cases of natural disasters, which could compromise the terrestrial 5G infrastructure, but would not affect the signals coming from space – which would end up functioning as a kind of backup. of the structure.

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Mike Sievert, from T-Mobile and Elon Musk, from SpaceX — Photo: Playback/YouTube/SpaceX

What is 5G spatial internet

The spatial 5G internet is nothing more than the fifth generation network distributed to the consumer via satellite. One of the ways this could happen would be to set up a satellite belt that could distribute the internet globally, as Elon Musk’s Starlink project has proposed to do.

The big techs’ difficulty would be in stabilizing the signal, since current software and hardware still cannot identify that the signal is coming from a satellite and not from a fixed antenna and these devices move at high speed – making the stability of the connection.

Hakan Djuphammar, head of special projects in the area of ​​technology at Ericsson, recently said that tests to ensure the feasibility of the idea should take place by 2023. After all, just as 5G satellites need to be in Earth orbit, compatible devices also need to exist.

Rumors point out that the next generations of iPhone could have the necessary components to make satellite calls, but the technology that would start this option is still a long way off.

iPhone 14 concept published by the press — Photo: Reproduction/Jon Prosser

How will the internet from space work?

Currently, most traditional communication satellites have been around our planet for over 50 years. Called geostationary (GEO), these devices weigh more than a ton and operate 36,000 kilometers above the Earth. This technology allows terrestrial antennas to point directly to the satellite they need, in a fixed position, allowing for fast data transmission.

The new devices, equipped with the technology for 5G transmission, would be smaller versions and closer to the earth’s surface. LEO satellites would operate between 500 and 2,000 kilometers above the planet’s surface. They are also at least 500 pounds lighter than their older cousins.

Starlink — Photo: Playback/The Verge

Low orbit would allow for lower latency as the satellite would be better positioned to receive and transmit data. Unlike GEO satellites, which can cover a larger area due to distance, without needing other companions, LEO satellites need to continuously transmit communication and traffic signals, forming a constellation of equipment to reach a predefined geographic area.

speed and availability

The intention of the new space race is to popularize the speed of the 5G internet, which can be up to 50 times faster than 4G. A recent partnership between Elon Musk, of SpaceX, and Mike Sievert, of the American operator T-Mobile, promised to eliminate the so-called dead zones – which have no internet signal – from the world. In these locations, the connection would be between 2 Mb/s and 5 Mb/s, equivalent to that achieved by Edge technology, which dates back to the transition from 2G to 3G. It would be slow, but it would also be better than nothing.

The satellite responsible for the coverage is called Starlink V2 and its launch will take place sometime in 2023. In February of that year, SpaceX launched the fifth batch of 60 Starlink satellites, putting about 300 satellites into orbit. Musk’s long-term goal is to reach 30,000 devices in space.

It is worth mentioning that the billionaire is not alone in this. Recently, Amazon asked the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to release a quick concession to operate a system consisting of 3,236 satellites.

The company has teamed up with operator Verizon, Musk’s partner’s main rival, also with the intention of providing high-throughput, low-latency broadband service to millions of customers. Jeff Bezos’ company has yet to put any satellites into orbit.

with information from NokiaThe Verge (1/two), TechCrunch and Reuters

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