MediaTek, Inmarsat join forces on satellite communications direct to smartphones
Collaboration builds upon proven MediaTek 5G NTN technology operating on Inmarsat’s existing ELERA L-band satellite network. The combined technology would allow smartphone manufacturers, mobile network operators and the wider IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem to bring satellite-enabled devices and services to market faster.
MediaTek and Inmarsat have expanded their collaboration to bring ultra-reliable, two-way satellite services to smartphones, IoT devices, automotive and other industries.
The two industry leaders are focused on enabling mobile operators, smartphone and other device manufacturers to offer satellite services, such as two-way text messaging, emergency communications, device tracking and monitoring, among other capabilities, without the need for pointing on most devices.
The MediaTek/Inmarsat collaboration provides a highly practical approach for the industry, leveraging proven 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) standards, existing chip sets and the world’s most reliable global satellite infrastructure, allowing a swift introduction of new NTN services.
Over the past three-years, Inmarsat and MediaTek have conducted numerous successful live, in-orbit trials of two-way communications to demonstrate the effectiveness of combining their technologies and space assets in real-life applications.
As a result of this work, MediaTek chipsets and Inmarsat’s L-band network are today being trialled by major network operators and device manufacturers for direct-to-device, two-way satellite connectivity.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies significantly extends their existing relationship and covers joint technology innovation and the commercial deployment of satellite-enabled devices.
Jat Brainch, Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, Inmarsat said “With MediaTek, we can offer smartphone companies and others a fast and consumer friendly path to satellite to device capability that allows two-way communications and does not require complex “aiming” of the device.
“Our network holds real potential to support a revolution in direct-to-device, IoT and car connectivity and we are delighted to be partnering with MediaTek, a recognised world-leading innovator in 5G NTN technology. The combination of our joint capabilities can bring rapid access to 5G satellite services for consumer and professional users, and the wider 5G ecosystem across the world.”
JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President of MediaTek, said “MediaTek’s growing partnership with Inmarsat opens up new possibilities for the convergence of cellular and satellite networks. MediaTek is a leading solution provider and contributor to 3GPP NTN standards, and our ongoing work with Inmarsat GEO satellites will help drive 5G innovation across multiple markets, including smartphones. The unique qualities of Inmarsat’s narrowband satellite network and the spectrum capacity they have available will be able to support a multitude of new devices and services.”
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