Two reasons for cause to celebrate come from OQ Technologies which has been granted an experimental license for accessing critical satellite 5G frequencies by the Luxembourg Ministry of Media and Communication, and the company has established the first European 5G Satellite Test Center (STC) for LEO (low Earth orbit) satellites. Both advancements, together with the successful launch of it’s first commercial 5G IoT satellite last week, are aimed at speeding up the company’s product development and global expansion.
What the 5G license, issued by the Luxembourg regulatory authority (ILR) in June, enables OQ Technology to do will be able to accelerate its service provisions for the Internet of things (IoT), including smart cars, drones, transport, logistics and maritime, especially in remote regions. The license allows the company to test and improve its commercial product portfolio of 5G IoT user devices. OQ Technology will also be able to optimize its cell-tower 5G software stack aboard its satellites.
At its new 5G STC in Leudelange, near its headquarters in Luxembourg, OQ Technology will be able to test all required in-orbit validation, terminals and payloads as well as 5G IoT devices and satellite performance for targeted 5G frequencies compatible with terrestrial mobile and satellite mobile bands. And because it’s the only 5G test center for satellites in LEO, it’s ideal for companies who need to test their IoT prototypes before they are put into mass production.
“We have made immense progress this year towards solving the continued lack of terrestrial 5G networks and expensive VSAT satellite costs by growing our constellation and ground infrastructure,” said Omar Qaise, CEO of OQ Technology. “Our LEO Constellation Control Center together with the recent agreement for a Leaf Space ground station will form the initial cornerstones for operating our future fleet of satellites as well as other third-party missions.”
In combination, the new 5G STC and the recently opened LEO Constellation Control Center enables OQ Technology to demonstrate its capabilities and the quality of its services to European customers and mobile operators. In particular, it allows mobile and terrestrial operators to test and validate how their existing network would integrate with OQ Technology’s satellite based 5G connectivity in regions not covered at all by terrestrial networks or at least not by that particular operator. It saves them the complex effort and time consuming task of creating a patchwork of individual network arrangements with local operators, worry about shipments, and traveling across the world dealing with country individual regulatory aspects.
Another important aspect of the test center is the capability to test possible interference between mobile, terrestrial and satellite networks. An important regulation issue, which members of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) are also in the process of discussing.
The facility also lets OQ Technology improve its commercial product portfolio of 5G IoT user devices. It allows it to optimize various elements onboard the satellite payloads such as its cell-tower 5G and NB-IoT software stack and the scheduling mechanism. And it can test different chipsets, hardware and antennas from various suppliers envisaged to be used in the user terminals.
The 5G license grant is a result of OQ Technology’s application last year to use part of the terrestrial and satellite spectrum for complementary satellite and mobile 5G services. The license specifies access to three distinct frequency bands:
- Two mobile satellite frequency bands: one with global coverage and complementary with terrestrial mobile services; the other is used for a specific ITU (International Telecommunication Union) region.
- A band, under review by the ITU with in the upcoming World Radio Conference, to be used for satellite IoT services.
- A band used for terrestrial mobile services.