KT succeeds in linking 5G network to satellite

KT has succeeded in data transfer between its 5G network and a satellite 36,000 kilometres away.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer
Image: KT

South Korean telco KT has succeeded in data transfer between its 5G network and a satellite, the company said.

The carrier performed data transfer through its network with the Mugunghwa 6 satellite, run by its affiliate KT SAT, 36,000 kilometres away in space.

KT will also be able to use the satellite as a back-haul when transferring media files to multiple devices simultaneously, and will also allow the carrier to provide more stable 5G services by grouping its network with the satellite.

KT said it has developed a hybrid router for the test, and performed HD streaming from its 5G network and satellite to multiple 5G handsets for the test.

KT SAT operates a total of five satellites, which will allow the carrier to deploy the technology globally.

For instance, automated cars or tractors operating in areas where 5G coverage is unstable or during environmental crisis can link to the satellite to continue operations, wherever they are.

The technology can also assist in delivering wireless coverage in developing nations with weak infrastructure, KT said.

The South Korean telco said it will submit the test results to 3GPP in 2020 to contribute in setting the global standard for satellite-5G technology. 

KT, together with Korean automotive giant Hyundai, is also testing real-time traffic navigation for autonomous cars using 5G networks.

South Korea commercialised 5G networks in April for consumers and is planning to deploy standalone network services next year.

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