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World’s first 5G over LEO satellite demonstration proves successful

Tests confirmed LEO satellites will provide effective backhaul transport

The world’s first demonstration of 5G backhaul over a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite has taken place.

Satellite operator Telesat worked with the University of Surrey and Newtec on the tests, which confirmed that LEO satellites will provide effective backhaul transport, including for future 5G networks.

The tests looked at simultaneous 8K streaming, internet browsing and video chat sessions within stringent Quality of Service and slicing parameters. A 4K video was also transferred to the edge of the 5G network representing a future 5G use case.

Newtec said out of the technologies tested, its modems demonstrated higher modulation, efficiency and throughput performances, and the ability to deliver 8K videos with superior QoE. The company said this paves the way for increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications over 5G for the maritime, aero, connected car and broadband markets which have not previously been possible.

“We are amazed at the opportunities this test opens up,” said Jo De Loor, VP market development at Newtec. “The seamless and very high-performance connectivity provided by Newtec technology validates the use cases for many new 5G applications in the strategic market verticals where Newtec is positioned. The work carried out is a guideline for future multi-orbit deployments and highlights the benefits of the unique combination of LEO constellations and 5G.”