back to article MediaTek pings Italy with '5G' Internet-of-Things data beam from geostationary satellite 35,000 kilometres up

MediaTek has successfully demonstrated a "5G" data transfer using an Inmarsat Alphasat geostationary satellite, located 35,000 kilometres above the equator. At the other end of the exchange was a MediaTek base station system located at Italy's Fucino Space Center. The ground equipment used a platform powered by the Taiwanese …

  1. Flak

    5G is not 5G is not 5G

    Interesting article and experiment.

    So, for those who think 5G means low latency, high bandwidth and mobility:

    Geostationary 5G is not going to deliver low latency (speed of light constraint given the distance to the satellite).

    High bandwidth - perhaps, but not using NB-IoT - the clue is in the NB (narrow bandwidth).

    Had a quick look and cannot see any photos of the 'standard NB-IoT device' which has been connected. The cynic in me thinks that while the NB-IoT chip may be standard, there will need to be a parabolic dish of reasonable size to send/receive the signal. Mobility - limited.

    Finally, I also have a sneaking suspicion that the power consumption of the overall device will be far greater than what would be practical for a mobile device.

    To be clear, I think this is a great achievement and will further standards development and may lead to sensible services over time (but not tomorrow)...

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: 5G is not 5G is not 5G

      Well, based on the round-trip distance of 7×107m alone, the minimum ping will be circa 233.5ms. No, I wouldn't call that low latency.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: 5G is not 5G is not 5G

        >No, I wouldn't call that low latency.

        Compared to USPS

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: 5G is not 5G is not 5G

      It's 5G in that it uses NB-IoT networking, which is included under the 5G umbrella. I've added some extra detail.

      C.

  2. Androgynous Cow Herd

    299,792,458 m / s

    It's not just a good idea, it's the law

    For the use case of IOT, not sure how much latency is going to matter to the point that it cannot be designed around. So far as using it for a backhaul... another story completely.

  3. HildyJ Silver badge
    WTF?

    Usefulness

    I doubt that any IoT device has the capability to transmit data to a geostationary satellite. Which means that this will be used for push notifications like:

    Your < bill hasn't been paid / license has expired / device is no longer supported / provider has been sold > and we're cutting off your service.

    1. DS999

      Re: Usefulness

      It wouldn't be used for consumer devices, since it would require an attached dish - you can't collect/generate enough signal from/to GSO without one.

      Probably intended for some very remote devices far from any cellular tower. Think fire sensors deep in a national forest, or buoys measuring wave height in the middle of the ocean. Sure they could probably use shortwave, and probably do now, but that's very limited in bit rate and available frequency range.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Usefulness

        >Probably intended for some very remote devices far from any cellular tower.

        Wouldn't you use one of the new LEO meshes of satellites at lower power and better coverage. The antenna for GSO gets large when you get away from the equator

        1. DS999

          Re: Usefulness

          Perhaps, once they are commercially available.

          There's no reason for the antenna to get larger as you move away from the equator. The distance is dominated by the 22K mile orbital height, the additional distance being in northern Canada doesn't affect things much, nor does the additional atmosphere to traverse unless you're near the poles.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Usefulness

      Your < bill hasn't been paid / license has expired / device is no longer supported / provider has been sold > and we're cutting off your service.

      "Oh, and by the way, here's a product or two you've recently bought and therefore would be interested in replacing. And a nice lady whose rich husband was killed who needs your help to get the money out of a war zone. And would you like some Viagra? And you may already have won..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet.....

    Why the fuck, they cant even fix the current overland 4G shenanigans? (heres looking at you Three). Their call centres ask you to switch to 3G to receive and make calls whilst in London ! And forget any data usage in the west end.

    Yet happy to sell you a shiny 5G handset and advertise 5G heaven.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020