Satellite Internet access is not uncommon, but only for specific devices and specific areas. When will ordinary mobile phones be able to access the Internet via satellite? MediaTek officially announced that it has completed the world’s first 5G NTN (non-terrestrial network) satellite mobile phone laboratory connection test. This allows smartphones to access the Internet directly through satellite signals. In the future, 5G mobile phones will work directly with satellite networks.
MediaTek cooperates with Rohde & Schwarz on 5G NTN satellite mobile phone
The test was jointly completed by MediaTek and Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz. Based on the functions and procedures defined in the 3GPP Rel-17 specification, MediaTek’s mobile communication chips equipped with 5G NR NTN satellite network functions were used. Rohde Schwarz’s low-orbit satellite channel simulator and test base station are jointly complete. In the laboratory environment, the simulated satellite has an altitude of 600 kilometres and a speed of up to 27,000 kilometres per hour, using the low-orbit satellite communication mode.
However, MediaTek did not disclose the technical details of the relevant communication chips. Of course, there will be a need to integrate some chips into the SoC in the future for this to work. According to reports, the 5G NTN satellite network can provide more complete signal coverage for mobile phones. Furthermore, this satellite network can penetrate into areas that are difficult to reach by general terrestrial networks. In addition, smartphones can directly use satellite signals to surf the Internet. Combined with the existing terrestrial network and satellite network resources, a wireless network is formed. The communication network is seamlessly connected, and the mobile phone itself does not need to use additional accessories.
This is about the beginning of the development of this feature for regular mobile phones. Thus, it will likely take some time before we officially receive the first-ever regular satellite mobile phones. At the moment, satellite phones are available but these are in no way the regular smartphones we get off the shelves.