Omnispace wants LEO/MEO system for 5G

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Washington DC-based Omnispace is a relatively new name in the satellite industry. It says in its mission statement that it wants to “redefine mobile connectivity for the 21st century”. It has recently raised $60 million (€49.3m) in equity financing.

Omnispace says it wants to build a global 5G hybrid mobile network. It has already booked launch space on a SpaceX rocket for its two satellites being built by Thales Alenia Space for launch in 2022.

The company says it aims to set new standards for global connectivity solutions for the internet of things (IoT), mobile satellite and mobile broadband markets.

“Omnispace is rethinking how communications networks operate. The launch of these satellites will enable the first phase of implementation towards delivering our world-class hybrid network, bringing the power of 5G from space to mobile networks, anywhere around the world,” said Ram Viswanathan, CEO, Omnispace.

The company’s strategy is to use terrestrial repeaters, and very low-cost ground (and vehicle) antennas which with satellite coverage can provide global coverage. The company says it will tap into 4G and 5G coverage from the likes of Verizon and Vodafone, then there’s its satellite constellation which will also use S-band transmissions.

Overall, the company says it will invest in about 200 LEO satellites and fewer than 15 Mid-Earth orbiting satellites. Omnispace owns the ICO Global satellite assets which it bought in 2012. Then company has a key “partnership” position with Intelsat and it has outsourced its operations to Intelsat. An Intelsat director sits on Omnispace’s board of directors.


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