South Korean geostationary satellite operator KT SAT, a subsidiary of the KT Group, has successfully conducted the world’s first 5G data transmission with a satellite connection.
The test was carried out using Koreasat-6, positioned at 116 degrees East, and was done in collaboration with the KT Institute of Convergence Technology. By using satellite communications backhaul links, KT SAT transmitted real-time streaming data and live video camera footage from its Kumsan Satellite Service Center to the 5G edge cloud at the KT Research and Development Center in Umyeon-dong, Seoul.
The connection with established using hybrid terrestrial-satellite 5G transmission, which combines different networks to improve 5G data delivery and 5G edge cloud transmission using satellite communications backhaul links. This meshes satellite communications with the content delivery network (CDN) for video transmissions from the 5G edge cloud.
To enable this transmission, KT SAT and the KT Institute developed a router which, when connected to 5G terminals, can simultaneously transmit and receive various data, or use separate routes, to and from a 5G network and a satellite.
The test showed how hybrid 5G transmission technology can enable 5G-based automated machinery or moving vehicle to maintain its network connection when 5G coverage becomes unavailable, or when a natural disaster has occurred.
Also, this technology enables simultaneous content transmission to all smartphones accessible in the same bandwidth, whereas conventional satellite communications can only provide the transmission of high-definition (HD) video footage to a single smartphone within a given bandwidth.
KT SAT predicts that if the two technologies are commercialized, satellite communication with relatively slow speed could be boosted to provide faster, uninterrupted data transmission.
“Meshing satellite and 5G will create communication environments without regional gaps, greatly contributing to both disaster and emergency communication and content markets where communication is quintessential,” said Hahn Won-Sic, president of KT SAT. “Through continued technological exchange with KT, we will strive to achieve global technological standardization and provide good customer service.”
Jeon Hong-Beom, KT’s executive vice president and head of the KT Institute of Convergence Technology, said, “We are very pleased to have succeeded in interlinking satellite and 5G for the first time in the world by using the 5G technologies possessed by KT Group. We expect that our institute will contribute to developing new business models in the days ahead by mustering our group-wide technological prowess.”