Sateliot, the company that will launch the first constellation of low-orbit nanosatellites to provide 5G coverage for IoT, has received the endorsement of the European Space Agency (ESA) through the Future Preparation Generic Programme line of the ARTES programme on the standard powered by Sateliot, Gatehouse (an exclusive Sateliot partner) and 3GPP contributors to connect IoT standard devices from its LEO constellation.
“Tests have been conducted that have demonstrated the successful operation of a set of NTN NB-IoT protocols compliant with the recent 3GPP Release 17 NTN NB-IoT standard developed by Sateliot,” says Xavier Lobao, Head of Future Telecommunication Projects Division of ESA, responsible for the programme that supported the testing.
This statement represents a revolution for the IoT industry and a strong industry endorsement of the company’s project to launch its satellite constellation. In addition, this technology will make it possible to extend 5G NB-IoT connectivity to any area of the planet where there is currently no terrestrial coverage, without operators having to make changes to their hardware and at a low cost.
This milestone thus endorses a process that began just over a year ago when 3GPP included the scenario that Sateliot pursues, which contemplates low-orbit nanosatellite networks to provide IoT services, in its portfolio. 3GPP is the body that periodically brings together the main players in the telecommunications sector to define the different wireless communication standards.
The importance of this technology is based on the premise that operators will be able to interoperate. They will be able to connect with the nanosatellite network using a roaming service when they need 5G coverage to offer connectivity and follow, for example, the cargo of a moving ship, the trajectory of a mountain biker or alert emergency services in the case of an accident.
Its approval has also received a broad consensus from the main operators, companies and institutions throughout the value chain (satellite operators, mobile operators, network providers, device manufacturers…), including companies such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, Sony, Nokia, Ericsson, Eutelsat and Siemens.
For Jaume Sanpera, founder and CEO of Sateliot, this news is “an important recognition of our work, long and complex at a technical level, and also comes at a crucial time for our company, immersed in the preparation of the launch of its first constellation of satellites and in the run-up to the opening of the B series, from which we expect to raise 100 million euros”.