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Bridging the Digital Divide with Cellular 5G from Space

By Greg Tavarez

Around 90% of the planet, oceans included, is in coverage black spots, according to Lynk, and more than 3 billion people per year with a mobile phone experience extended periods of being disconnected. Factor in natural disasters like last week’s Hurricane Ian, the floods in Australia and even the volcano that erupted in Tonga earlier this year, it’s no wonder the need for a global instant backup system to ensure mobile connectivity that does not rely on ground-based cell towers has become more prominent.

Through a Federal Communications Commission license issued in September, Lynk will provide communication services with its satellite-direct-to-standard-mobile-phone service. To take the services a step further, the satellite-direct-to-standard-phone telecoms company will fly a 5G cellular base station in space to demonstrate the ability to send a 5G signal from space to standard mobile devices on Earth. The test is funded by an undisclosed partner.

Lynk patented the ability to connect to existing standard 5G devices on Earth with no change to the 5G device in 55 countries. The 5G payload will launch in December 2022 on Lynk’s second commercial satellite.

“Lynk’s fast development cycle, combined with our unique patented and proven technology to connect satellites in orbit to standard mobile phones on Earth, allows Lynk to quickly build and test the world’s most advanced cellular technologies in space,” said Charles Miller, CEO and co-founder of Lynk.

Lynk adopted design and development processes that enable the company to incorporate new technologies, such as the experimental 5G payload, in addition to the existing GSM and LTE base stations for mobile network operators that are under contract. Lynk’s software-designed radios can switch between 2G and 4G for its MNO partners and will be able to switch to 5G when MNO partners and other customers prefer that over 4G.

“Lynk is years ahead of everyone else in enabling MNOs to extend their cellular networks to 100% of their geographic territories. We will be years ahead in 5G as well,” said Dan Dooley, chief commercial officer of Lynk.

Lynk’s technology will allow MNOs to connect existing mobile phone customers to each other, anywhere on the planet, bridging the digital divide and saving lives with everyone connected.

Edited by Erik Linask

SmartCity Editor

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