The test was conducted in collaboration with Spanish MNO Telefónica.
Barcelona-based Sateliot operates a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) 5G IoT satellite constellation. The company says it has successfully trialled non-terrestrial 5G to extend the reach of Telefónica’s network.
In the test, Sateliot provided satellite coverage extension to Telefónica’s cellular network through standard GSMA roaming. It says the trial was observed by the European Space Agency (ESA). A regular sim card was used on an IoT cellular device which seamlessly switched from Telefónica’s cellular network to Sateliot’s network.
The test also used Sateliot’s “Store and Forward” technology which stores data if the company’s satellites are out of reach of any ground stations. Data is then forwarded once coverage is restored. The company says this will be important for its early-stage constellations where the number of satellites is still limited.
“This significant achievement”, says ESA’s Head of Space for 5G and 6G Strategic Programme Antonio Franchi, “Sateliot has achieved an important milestone by successfully demonstrating the integration of Low-Earth orbit and NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) with roaming capabilities in Store&Forward mode, along with two-step authentication into a 5G cellular network.”