TeleGeography: South Korea’s KT Corp has announced that its satellite subsidiary KT SAT has successfully conducted what it claims is the world’s first 5G data transmission with a satellite connection. In a press release regarding the development the company said that the aim of the test was to ‘expand the fifth-generation technology linked to KT’s 5G network and KT SAT’s KOREASAT 6, located some 36,000 kilometres above the equator’.
KT SAT and the KT Institute of Convergence Technology reportedly worked together on the project, which saw the implementation of ‘hybrid terrestrial-satellite 5G transmission’ that combines different networks to deliver data ‘better than a typical 5G service’, and ‘5G edge cloud media transmission using satellite communications backhaul links’, which meshes satellite communications with the content delivery network (CDN) for video transmissions from the 5G edge cloud.
According to KT, the key to the hybrid satellite-terrestrial 5G transmission was a router jointly developed by the KT Institute and KT SAT; it noted that 5G terminals connected to this device were able to simultaneously transmit and receive various data, or use separate routes, to and from a 5G network and a satellite.
KT SAT said that the objective of its satellite-based 5G research is to achieve a complete interconnection of 5G NR (New Radio) and satellite communications, by devising global standards for the technology of interconnecting satellite and 5G. With KT SAT and the KT institute hoping to report the test results to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) during the first half of 2020, Hahn Won-Sic, president of KT SAT, was cited as saying: ‘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 … Through continued technological exchange with KT, we will strive to achieve global technological standardisation and provide good customer service.’