Spanish satellite telecommunications operator Sateliot, which provides continuous global connectivity to the Internet of Things (IoT) under a 5G architecture, has sealed an agreement with the Danish Gatehouse Group to develop world’s first NB-IoT network.
The network is aimed to enable Sateliot to offer global 5G connectivity once its LEO nanosatellite constellation is deployed.
GateHouse Telecom provides the satellite communications industry with a range of software products for commercial, government and military use.
This agreement with Gatehouse is part of the $5.2m investment plan in R&D of Sateliot and is one of the three projects that the Spanish company will carry out in the next two years.
The work will consist of adapting the NB-IoT Slack Protocol and the NB-IoT waveform so that IoT terminals can be connected to Sateliot’s LEO satellite network whenever they do not have land coverage or are deployed in areas where there is no classic mobile communication infrastructure, such as remote regions of the Arctic or the Australian outback.
Within this framework, both companies will develop a ‘laboratory environment’ where they will simulate the connection using configurable hardware and test the commercial Sateliot services that are expected to start operating in the third quarter of 2022.
Sateliot’s research and work with Gatehouse will contribute to the implementation of the 5G NB-IoT international standard for small and low altitude satellite networks promoted by the 3GPP association, responsible for the 3G/4G and 5G standard, of which Sateliot is an active member. This innovative standard will also be patentable for Sateliot’s exclusive use.
The company will deploy from the last part of the year a constellation composed of up to 100 of these devices. With the size of a microwave, they will orbit some 500 km from the Earth, rising as telecommunications towers from space that will provide an extension of coverage to traditional operators so that they can connect objects anywhere terrestrial networks do not reach.
For Michael Bondo Andersen, CEO of Gatehouse, “considering the potential of the New Space or data as 2.7m IOT devices are connected today through satellites, it is necessary to develop a solution that moves the NB-IOT protocols into space”.
Marco Guadalupi, technical director of Sateliot said: “Our agreement with Gatehouse is strategic and fundamental for the implementation of our services. And a differentiating step since it will allow us to put our expertise in the main organisations of the sector of which we are members such as 3GPP, GSMA, ETSI or 5G IA.”