Ericsson, Qualcomm and Thales partner to bring 5G to space

The three companies say they will conduct tests involving non-terrestrial 5G networks connected to smartphones.

Mobile network equipment vendor Ericsson is partnering with French aerospace company Thales and semiconductor giant Qualcomm to develop space-based 5G.

The companies say they have already conducted extensive research into non-terrestrial 5G networks, including studies and simulations. Now, they hope to conduct use-case-focused tests using the technology.

Non-terrestrial networks include technologies such as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and High-altitude platform systems (HAPS). There has been an effort to better integrate these technologies into the 5G standard, which could result in an interoperable, standardized wireless experience across the entire globe.

Ericsson suggests that non-terrestrial 5G could be used to boost 5G subscriber roaming service capabilities and enable global connectivity for the transportation, energy and health sectors.

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