A 5G mobile device that can connect with satellites would enable communication from distant areas of the earth, present a risk to pricey satellite phones, and compete with Elon Musk‘s Starlink’s competitor broadband internet services.
Before conducting experiments in orbit, the firms will first simulate Earth, according to an interview with Hakan Djuphammar, head of special projects at Ericsson’s technology division. “Discussions are on for testing on the International Space Station and with a few satellites,” he said.
In addition to providing connections in areas that conventional service providers do not serve, a space-based network might be used as a backup for terrestrial networks in the event of significant failures or disasters.
According to Djuphammar, testing would continue well into 2023 to see whether the technology can do this and whether it is practical to establish a network of satellites that can communicate with phones. He refused to say when the tests would start.
“The satellites move very fast, so the link changes very rapidly. So we are going to do all those tests to validate that the technology is mature and ready to perform these things.”