Lockheed Martin Partners with Omnispace for 5G Satellite Network – tech2.org

Lockheed Martin Partners with Omnispace for 5G Satellite Network


A representation of Lockheed Martin’s 400 series satellite buses, which range in weight from 400kg to 800kg.

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Lockheed Martin’s space division announced on Tuesday a strategic interest agreement with the Omnispace satellite launch, “to explore the joint development of 5G capability from space.”

“This really stems from a common vision of a global 5G network, allowing users to seamlessly transition between satellites. [and the] terrestrial network, “Omnispace CEO Ram Viswanathan told CNBC.

Viswanathan highlighted Lockheed Martin’s “depth of experience” in a variety of markets, particularly with a wide swath of Defense Department clients.

“Their appetite never goes out and the kind of need they have for communications across the board,” Lockheed Martin Space Executive Vice President Rick Ambrose told CNBC. “Omnispace has a very powerful vision of how to deliver the service … [and] how it is transferred to a mobile device “.

Ambrose said the two companies have been interacting for about a year. The strategic interest agreement further consolidates the couple working towards a hybrid network that combines the reach of a global satellite network, known in the industry as a constellation, with the capacity of mobile wireless operator networks.

The partnership places companies in the ever-expanding field of space-based data communications, with potential competitors including the consumer-focused Starlink broadband service SpaceX from Elon Musk, the satellite-to-smartphone specialist. AST & Science and the OneWeb and Telesat business networks. .

Viswanathan acknowledged the other players building satellite communications constellations in low Earth orbit, but differentiated Omnispace by offering “direct-to-device capability”, rather than the “expensive and bulky” ground terminals required for users to connect. connect to other space networks.

“We can deliver the mobile communications capability to a standardized 5G-based terminal or terminal and, as you can imagine, that starts to open up a variety of applications,” Viswanathan said.

Last month, Omnispace raised a new round of venture capital, and investors led by Fortress Investment Group contributed $ 60 million. The Virginia-based company has raised $ 140 million to date since its founding in 2012, according to Pitchbook. Ambrose said it is “too early to say” whether Lockheed Martin will invest in Omnispace, but noted that the companies “will explore multiple options” as the partnership expands.

The next step for Omnispace will be to implement a “test concept” of its technology in space. But while Omnispace has not yet finished designing its complete system, Viswanathan said it will cost “dramatically less” than other satellite communications constellations, which estimate between $ 5 billion and more than $ 10 billion for full implementation.

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