Smart and Omnispace to explore space-based 5G technologies

Omnispace and Smart Communications, a wireless subsidiary of Philippine telco PLDT, will explore and demonstrate the potential for space-based 5G comms

Philippines-based Smart Communications (Smart), is collaborating with Omnispace to explore and demonstrate the capabilities of space-based 5G communications using low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

PLDT, Smart’s parent company, and Smart’s move into satellite-powered communication is part of a broader initiative to deliver world-class customer services across the country, complementing the nationwide rollout of their fibre infrastructure, and wireless networks based on 4G and 5G technologies.

“This collaboration with Omnispace will allow our companies to work together to define use cases for the Philippine market,” said Arvin Siena, Smart Communications’ parent PLDT’s Technology Strategy and Transformation Office. 

Siena added that possible use cases include enabling 5G connectivity in remote areas, incorporating IoT and sensors for use in monitoring weather disturbances and natural calamities, and augmenting network coverage for disaster relief, maritime and telematics for vessels and equipment. 

Delivering reliable mobile connectivity

Headquartered in the Washington D.C. area, Omnispace describes itself as redefining mobile connectivity for the 21st century.

By leveraging 5G technologies, the company is combining the global footprint of a non-geostationary satellite constellation with the mobile networks of the world’s leading telecom companies to bring an interoperable “one network” connectivity to users and IoT devices anywhere on the globe. 

“We are excited to announce this collaborative agreement with Smart Communications, which shares our vision of delivering reliable mobile connectivity to consumer, government and enterprise users, everywhere. Together with Smart, we seek to bridge the digital divide, while also providing the communications infrastructure to power the development of the Filipino economy of the future,” said Brian Pemberton, Chief Commercial Officer, Omnispace. 

Having launched Omnispace Spark-1 and Spark-2 in April and May, the company recently completed the deployment phase of Omnispace Spark. This programme is the initial phase in the company’s development and delivery of the ‘world’s first global 5G-capable satellite network’.

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