3G, 4G, 5G… the internet speed we get on our phones is getting faster and faster and asking every time adaptations. Whether it’s infrastructure or our devices, there actually always is necessary technological changes that require time and new investments from both parties. Many people’s great fear remains the “waves” emitted by the antennas, which some fear, although studies show that the danger is not real. What if we told them that the rays will soon come from space?
In the room no one will hear you call
The next generation of telephone networks may actually grow far above our heads. We can even say in the room! The technology that allows the manufacture of satellites is more and more developed, and the prices of subscriptions will inevitably fall. Enough to pushing many companies to consider launching their own networks and offering mobile solutions in low earth orbit (OTB). This was already the case with Lynk Global in April, and AST SpaceMobile should follow in its footsteps around mid-September. It must be said that telecommunication engineers work hard to make the thing more attractive and efficient.
📢 Tender: ‘Demonstration of an experimental 5G g-NodeB in space’.
5G promises a new paradigm in communication. Help us explore uncharted territory and study the spaceborne #5G regenerative functions in a 5G end-to-end system demonstration.
➡ https://t.co/a0kM7YZFUi pic.twitter.com/OB5Bjb0J1n
—ESA Space Solutions (@Space4Europe) 29 August 2022
By the power of ancestral bonding!
The first challenge with these connections from space is to manage having the necessary amount of energy to send and receive data between the satellites and the connected devices. A challenge that is not so simple to take up, as explained by Symeon Chatzinotas, an engineer from the University of Luxembourg:
It may be possible to send signals to smartphones outdoors using low-Earth orbit satellites with large antennas in the sky. However, it should be even more difficult to receive information, as smartphone antennas usually scatter their energy in all directions.
It is true that the probable distance between an OTB satellite and a smartphone is 500 kilometers, which is twice as typical in urban environments. This therefore means that the phone’s current spread must be at least 8 times greater than with a terrestrial antenna. And it gets even worse if you’re in a building. Nevertheless, future offers strive to offer a service that can be used under certain conditions.
We have the design #BlueWalker3 to connect ordinary mobile phones from space – an important step towards building the world’s first cellular broadband network in space. Learn about our upcoming test mission in a new video: https://t.co/RdhGbS4RgK #ASTSpaceMobile
— AST SpaceMobile (@AST_SpaceMobile) 18 August 2022
Vowels and some consonants pack
In the first place, you shouldn’t expect to watch Netflix in 4K on your phone with this kind of package. However, Lynk Global’s offering, which should be available by the end of the year, will allow voice calls, sending SMS and limited internet traffic, but which will have the advantage of existing. At AST SpaceMobile we proudly announce 4G and 5G broadband thanks to a special satellite device. Many phased array antennas will be deployed around it, each aiming at a different part of the Earth’s soil so that its spread can be spread out into several defined cones. 20 satellites should initially be launched to cover the equator. If successful, this first phase will fund the rest.
We are therefore at the beginning of this 5G coming from space, but at the rate at which things are going, we could watch the antennas that pollute our landscape disappear very quickly. On the other hand, there will be satellites that will pollute the sky… but it will be less visible.