Ligado Networks today announced a partnership with Sony Semiconductor Israel to develop chipsets for Ligado’s 5G mobile satellite network for the Internet of Things (IoT), marking a significant milestone for deploying advanced connectivity services across North America.
Ligado’s 3GPP standards-based 5G satellite IoT network will support tens of millions of mobile devices powering critical machine-to-machine communications in the transportation, agriculture, utilities, and energy sectors. The partnership with Sony brings Ligado one step closer to providing standalone satellite and combined satellite and terrestrial connections to enterprise customers.
“As a leader in developing IoT standards for mobile satellite networks, we are excited to work with Sony to advance new capabilities and serve the growing market for 5G mobile satellite connectivity anywhere in the U.S. and across North America,” said Sachin Chhibber, Ligado Chief Technology Officer. “This satellite capability will also support our 5G mobile private network solution by enabling ubiquitous coverage and reliability, which are essential for critical infrastructure enterprises as they modernize operations.”
“We are excited to support Ligado’s 5G mobile satellite network,” said Dima Feldman, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “The addition of satellite connectivity to our market-leading 5G IoT chipsets improves utility for critical communications customers and expands our market reach.”
As a leading provider of cellular IoT chipsets, Sony will build on extensive design efforts and standards coordination to adapt 5G IoT technology and manufacture IoT chipsets that are compatible with Ligado’s L-band MSS spectrum, which 3GPP has standardized as Band 255 for Non-Terrestrial Networks. Ligado plans to deploy a 5G satellite IoT network to support mainstream devices using low-cost chipsets for both satellite and terrestrial connectivity. The satellite offering adds extended coverage and network redundancy to the company’s planned 5G mobile private network solution, enabling always-on connectivity and coverage across an enterprise’s entire footprint.
With the 22-meter reflector-based antenna of Ligado’s SkyTerra 1 satellite, the network will support real-time communication to the small modules and devices used for innovative applications like wide-area vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, smart metering, and critical messaging anywhere in North America.
Ligado and Sony indicated the work would be completed in several phases, with the goal of conducting initial technology trials by the end of the year.