Lockheed Martin and Omnispace pursue global 5G hybrid network
Lockheed Martin and Omnispace are teaming up to consider jointly developing the technology needed to deliver 5G connectivity on a global scale. The new strategic interest agreement is aimed at combining a constellation of non-geostationary orbital satellites with terrestrial mobile wireless networks for anywhere, anytime 5G connectivity.
The first four generations of mobile connectivity technologies were largely about shifting from analog to digital systems and ramping up the bandwidth from handling simple voice communications to enough for 4K streaming video. On the other hand, 5G is not only designed to handle more bytes per second, but also offers a much larger reach in terms of not only geography, but also across platforms.
For example, one area where 5G is particular attractive is in military applications, where 5G systems can seamlessly connect ships, armored forces, aircraft, satellites, and foot soldiers into a single, complex, immediately adaptive network that puts artificial intelligence on the battlefield and turns each component into both a sensor platform and a command center.
The goal of the Lockheed/Omnispace agreement seeks to produce a single global 5G network by combining Omnispace's 2-GHz S-band spectrum rights and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards to enable networks from telecom companies around the globe to be combined with a satellite constellation. It's hope such a hybrid network would enable direct-to-device connectivity and interoperability regardless of position or environment for a wide variety of applications, including civil, commercial, government defense and military use.
"We share a common vision with Omnispace of a space-based 5G global network that would enable users to seamlessly transition between satellite and terrestrial networks – eliminating the need for multiple devices on multiple networks," says Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. "Ultimately, it's about empowering end users with low latency connections that work anywhere. This step forward has the potential to upend space-based mobility."
The video below discusses the broad military applications of 5G technology.
Source: Lockheed Martin