The completion of in orbit commissioning will be beneficial in providing 5G IoT services for no internet latency-tolerant applications
OQ Technology, a 5G satellite operator has completed the in-orbit commissioning (IOC) of its Tiger-2 nanosatellite that started on 15 August 2021 following its successful launch and early orbit phase (LEOP).
To verify the performance of the satellite’s payload, the OQ Technology had conducted various operations over the forthcoming weeks. From the first switch on, the Tiger-2 worked flawlessly on both uplink and downlink. The company also tested and calibrated its working terminals in different fixed and mobile environments in the desert and for indoor usage. During tests, OQ was able to send the terminal’s GPS location to the satellite from within a fast-moving car without having a direct line of sight to the sky. Even when buried in the desert sand, the terminal was still sent signals to the satellite, making it ideal for many agricultural applications. Its high level of signal to noise ratio surpassed OQ’s high expectations.
“Being able to track our terminals even indoors and covered by soil adds further possible services that we can offer to our customers. It opens the door for many potential use cases other satellite operators cannot provide. And it demonstrates the impact and possibilities of this new generation of 5G over satellite,” said Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology.
Due to the successful outcome, OQ now aims to connect 70-80% of the world living without internet access and offer opportunities for latency-tolerant applications like smart farming, metering and environmental monitoring such as measurement of hazardous gases in oil and gas fields or corrosion tracking in pipes. On their fruitful implementation, the company aims to include more real-time applications such as alarms, tracking, leak detection, robotics, smart cars, and drones control.
More Future Goals
Over the next few years, OQ Technology is planning to launch a constellation of 72 satellites, providing 5G IoT and machine to machine (M2M) communication. Its ‘cell-tower inside the satellite’ technology will ultimately provide real-time global connectivity with ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC).
The company is already in talks with several potential customers interested in using the company’s satellite-based 5G IoT services and will start commercial services for “latency-tolerant” low-power devices this beginning next year. Soon it expects to commence customer demonstrations.
“We’re now close to signing a memorandum of understanding with a respected research institute to collaborate on satellite-based services in the Middle East and Africa that could be the first step in that direction,” said Omar Qaise.
He further added, “Completing the IOC phase and the successful tests with our terminals in remote locations was a crucial step to start generating revenue via the satellite and progress the constellation with more satellites to be launched in early 2022. “In addition to potential customers, we are also negotiating with cellular chip partners to scale up the satellite access capability to existing cellular IoT chips globally. Our next step is starting service demonstrations with our potential customers and their use cases.”