Intelsat, Kymeta show off satellite 5G in a moving car
Was it satellite-enabled 5G you were after, in a moving car?
So if you want to take your eventual driverless car somewhere far off data networks, but it’s a car that relies heavily on cloud computing networks, now you might be in luck. Hooking up cars and satellites, fun as it might sound, has been inhibited so far by big antenna sizes.
Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite network has been working on receivers to interact with moving vehicles, but at about 20 inches wide, the dishes for now can only work in trucks and camper vans.
Kymeta has an electronically steered, flat-panel antenna it calls the u8. It’s a step up from the company’s previous antenna, oddly enough called the u7, in that it provides full coverage of the whole Ku band.
The Ku band is the chief microwave band for satellite communications, and is split into different segments which vary by geographical region. One of the advantages is it can be used with smaller antennas, and Kymeta’s antenna has no moving parts as it tracks and steers towards satellites.
This early testing for the development of 5G standards over satellite is “an important step in the next generation of connectivity and where 5G is heading,” said Ryan Stevenson, Kymeta’s chief scientist, about the company’s participation in the test.
Get out of the sky, get into my car
It all ultimately involves much more than just neat things you can do with 5G and satellites.
Autonomous vehicles will generate up to 40 terabytes of data an hour, from cameras, radar, and other sensors. This is as much as an iPhone uses in 3,000 years. They will slurp up even more, says Morgan Stanley. But only 10% to 15% of the earth’s surface is covered by mobile phone networks. So autonomous vehicles are an easy sell for satellite internet.
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