The partners expect the proposed 5G satellite hybrid connectivity to enhance terrestrial mobility


Lockheed Martin joins forces with Omnispace to explore space-based 5G global network. (Credit: Omnispace, LLC)

Lockheed Martin has entered into a partnership with satellite start-up Omnispace to jointly explore the prospects of developing 5G capability from space.

According to the US security and aerospace company, the proposed global 5G standards-based non-terrestrial network (NTN) will provide ubiquitous communications to commercial, enterprise, and government devices across the world.

With the potential to redefine mobile communications, the space-based 5G network could benefit users who need true mobility, irrespective of environment or location, said the partners.

Lockheed Martin space executive vice president Rick Ambrose said: “We share a common vision with Omnispace of a space-based 5G global network that would enable users to seamlessly transition between satellite and terrestrial networks – eliminating the need for multiple devices on multiple networks.

“Ultimately, it’s about empowering end users with low latency connections that work anywhere. This step forward has the potential to upend space-based mobility.”

Omnispace is said to be visualising a ‘one global network’ that will join the reach of a non-geostationary orbit satellite constellation with the capacity of major mobile wireless carrier networks across the world.

The proposed 5G NTN will utilise the satellite start-up’s priority 2GHz S-band spectrum rights and use 3GPP standards for facilitating direct-to-device connectivity and interoperability.

Lockheed Martin said that with its collaboration, the hybrid 5G network will provide the coverage and capacity for supporting essential applications that depend on seamless, reliable, global communications.

Apart from supporting a broad range of civil and commercial applications, global 5G connectivity brings the coverage and capacity needed by defense, government, and military, said the partners.

Omnispace president and CEO Ram Viswanathan said: “Omnispace is fully committed to the vision of creating a new global communications platform that powers 5G connectivity directly to mobile devices from space.

“We welcome Lockheed Martin’s holistic approach to complex systems and deep expertise in satellite technology and government markets, along with their commitment to creating innovative communication solutions.”

Last month, Omnispace raised $60m in a new funding round led by Fortress Investment Group. The company will use the proceeds for advancing the development of its 5G NTN and for expanding its 2GHz spectrum presence in key markets across the world.