by Staff Writers
Southampton UK (SPX) Feb 13, 2023
AccelerComm, the 5G IP specialists, has partnered with UK-based technology development firm TTP to jointly develop a 5G LEO Regenerative base station designed for deployment on low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The project combines expertise and IP from the two companies, along with additional technology from partners, to offer a dedicated 5G regenerative gNodeB solution optimized for use in a Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) environment.
In a typical LEO deployment, a single satellite covers a vast geographical area using a large number of beams to reach multiple subscribers. However, terrestrial gNodeB products of similar scale are not equipped to handle the unique challenges of a LEO deployment. Additionally, any gNodeB platform for space applications must be capable of working in a hostile space environment and be highly constrained in size, weight, and power.
To address these challenges, AccelerComm and TTP are collaborating to develop a tailored solution that builds on existing 3GPP technologies. The solution will support a large number of beams and high subscriber density, making it an ideal choice for businesses and organizations that need to connect people and devices in remote locations. It will also be ideal for governments looking to provide internet access to all citizens.
The joint solution will include a range of advanced developments in beam-to-cell mapping, beam forming, and NTN beam-management. It will be delivered on a space-hardened platform optimized for low-power and size. This will ensure that the gNodeB can efficiently deliver satellite-based enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
To make this possible, the O-RAN compliant gNodeB will leverage AccelerComm's LEOphy, a Layer 1 modem for low-earth orbit satellite communications. LEOphy delivers enhanced performance with the lowest error rates and dedicated features to overcome specific challenges of NTN channels, such as high path losses, differential delays, doppler shift, long propagation delays, and rapid fluctuations in signal amplitude and phase caused by atmospheric effects. This ensures a high-reliability link without resorting to lower coding rates and low-order modulation schemes, maximizing spectral efficiency.
"There has been an explosion in interest around combining satellite and traditional mobile communications systems with the iPhone 14 launch and the T-Mobile Starlink announcement," said Rob Barnes, Chief Marketing Officer at AccelerComm.
"However, for satellite 5G to be truly successful, there are a number of performance and efficiency challenges which have to be overcome. Solving these requires building on the existing 3GPP technologies to create a tailored solution built to deal with the unique challenges of operating around a thousand kilometres from earth, at speeds of over 7km per second, all while dealing with power and resource constraints."
"We are delighted to be working with our partner TTP to develop this high-performance solution which will open up a whole new market for delivering 5G services from space."
"TTP is pleased to partner with AccelerComm to define a highly scalable and low power gNodeB solution that will enable LEO operators to efficiently deliver 5G NTN services," said Adrian Hillier, TTP's Head of Next G.
Overall, the joint AccelerComm-TTP LEO Regenerative base station solution offers a promising way to overcome the unique challenges of a Non-Terrestrial Network and to bring 5G services to remote and underserved areas.
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