MediaTek hits a new 5G milestone by pioneering smartphone access to a 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN) in a lab environment. MediaTek and Rohde & Schwarz have collaborated to simulate data transmission tests to 5G base stations (gNBs) on low-orbit (LEO) satellite channels, first demonstrating satellite communication support capabilities based on 5G smartphone hardware.

This test is based on the functions and procedures defined by the 3GPP R17 5G specification, using MediaTek's mobile communication test chip with 5G NR NTN satellite network function, with Rohde & Schwarz's low-orbit satellite channel simulator and test base station. A low-orbit (LEO) satellite at an altitude of 600 kilometers and moving at speeds of up to 27,000 kilometers per hour is simulated in the laboratory.

Huang Heqi, General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communication System Development Division, said: "As a leader in 5G mobile communication technology, MediaTek takes the lead in the development of cutting-edge technology based on customer needs, and continues to make technological breakthroughs for innovative applications. The forward-looking and effective 5G smartphones give full play to the characteristics of the 5G Internet of Everything and boost the development of the 5G NTN satellite network.”

In this experiment, MediaTek demonstrated the feasibility of using 5G NTN technology for satellite communications using the same components as smartphones. 5G NTN technology improves the reliability of global services by leveraging the economies of scale of existing mobile communication networks, helping users to obtain stable 5G connections in areas with no service or weak signals. The technology will not only allow continued growth in the number of 5G users, but also commercial and enterprise applications such as emergency communications, transportation, agriculture, fleet and heavy machinery management, and IoT devices.

Gerald TIetscher, Deputy General Manager of the Signal Generator Product Division at Rohde & Schwarz, said: "The ubiquitous networked environment is an important social goal of Rohde & Schwarz, and we are committed to providing suitable measurement solutions to enable Newer technologies will help the wireless communication industry to develop better."

MediaTek actively promotes the standardization of 3GPP R17, and uses physical layer and algorithm design to overcome the signal attenuation caused by the high-speed movement of low-orbit satellites, helping to reduce the need for traditional complex antennas for 5G NTN smartphones. By maintaining the same underlying physical signal and communication protocol design as 5G, it helps smartphones support both existing terrestrial 5G networks and future 5G NTN satellite networks.

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