MediaTek Conduct World’s First Public Test of 5G Satellite IoT Data Connection with Inmarsat

MediaTek presents the results of their successful field trial that transfers data through Inmarsat’s Alphasat L-band satellite in Geostationary Orbit, 35,000 kilometers above the equator. Talk about pushing the limits.

The results of MediaTek and Inmarsat’s IoT field test will be contributed to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)’s Rel-17 standardization work on Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN), which is part of its overarching initiative to establish 5G standards toward new use cases and services.

This is truly groundbreaking as the new 5G satellite NB-IoT technology established a bidirectional link from MediaTek’s satellite-enabled standard NB-IoT device to a commercial GEO satellite, taking 5G technology a step forward for a truly global IoT coverage. This test lays the groundwork for networks to enable new ubiquitous 5G IoT services at a global scale.

MediaTek’s collaboration with Inmarsat will accelerate industry efforts to converge cellular and satellite networks in the 5G era. MediaTek is a leading connectivity provider and contributor to 3GPP standards, and our ongoing work with Inmarsat GEO satellites will help drive 5G innovation across verticals like IoT.

Said Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, MediaTek General Manager of Communication System Design

The two companies ran the test with a base station located at the Fucino Space Center in Italy and developed by Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III). The test device, built with MediaTek’s satellite-enabled NB-IoT chipset, was located in Northern Italy. The prototype system successfully established a communication channel and data transfer with the GEO satellite ‘Alphasat’.

Testing MediaTek’s standard NB-IoT chip over Inmarsat’s established GEO satellite network has proven technology from mobile networks works effectively over GEO satellites with little modification and will provide a very cost-effective path to ubiquitous and hybrid global IoT coverage.

Said Jonathan Beavon, Senior Director, Inmarsat Product Group.