O3b conducts broadband, voice test on 4G/LTE mobile solution

Live interoperability testing shows satellite constellation can support cutting-edge 4G/LTE technologies

O3b Networks has completed a successful live test of broadband voice and video on a 4G/LTE mobile wireless solution. The interoperability testing, conducted on behalf of O3b by Oceus Networks, shows that O3b’s innovative medium earth orbit satellite constellation can support the low latency required on cutting-edge 4G/LTE technologies.

Interoperability testing was conducted between the Oceus Networks Xiphos 4G/LTE mobile network equipment and both an O3b lab simulator and over-the-air testing through the O3b gateway in Lurin, Peru. In the tests, the O3b network supported latency sensitive 4G traffic with round trip latency over the satellite link below 150 milliseconds.

Testers were able to successfully execute voice and video calls under all conditions. Two 2.4m antennae track the O3b satellite constellation in in the Washington Media Port in Virginia, US. After completing bench testing, Oceus Networks connected the Xiphos LTE network to the 2.4m terminal and set up a live Skype video call from an LTE laptop over the live satellite link to the O3b gateway, and then via the internet back from the gateway to another laptop in the lab.

The test objective was to check voice and video calls over the satellite link from an Oceus laptop on the gateway side of the O3b lab simulator to several LTE mobile devices on the customer terminal side of the simulator, under normal clear sky conditions, with varying rain fade events, and at the time of satellite-to-satellite handover.

In addition, Oceus ran a sizable amount of background file transfer traffic to try and saturate the link during some of the tests. Oceus measured end-to-end system latency and throughput of the O3b simulator in addition to Oceus Xiphos 4G/LTE throughout the testing along with the quality of the user experience. The lab simulator was set up to mimic the four satellite pass latency variations and handover times of a link between the O3b gateway at Sunset Beach and the Cook Islands.

“This first successful live test of broadband voice and video on a 4G/LTE mobile wireless solution is another validation of the O3b satellite constellation, providing evidence that our innovative satellite constellation can support cutting-edge 4G/LTE technologies, to provide backhaul for remote 4G/LTE networks. It will extend the reach of this fast-growing wireless technology into remote and challenging environments faced by first responders, humanitarian workers and military users,”says Steve Collar, CEO of O3b Networks.