The global demand for better connectivity, as well as new applications to support remote working, automation, e-commerce, transport, education, and healthcare is continually increasing. To support the digitised economy, a mixture of communications technologies will be needed to achieve universal coverage in a resilient and affordable way.

OneWeb are leading the way on how blended LEO satellite communications and 5G can deliver world-class universal internet access. To showcase the potential of a hybrid satcoms and 5G solution, it is running demonstrations of real-world applications of its service.

Working with OneWeb, Satixfy and ESA, CGI were able to demonstrate 5G over the OneWeb service at the CGI-built 5G/6G Hub at ESA’s ECSAT site. This validated the 5G end-to-end link communication over OneWeb’s satellites and the full integration of space and ground networks using 5G links, with low latency and very high speed and quality performance.

We designed the overall 5G network architecture and integrated it with the OneWeb system. We developed a lightweight 5G test rig that is portable, robust, and can be easily deployed in multiple environments to support the testing of the private 5G network across the commercial OneWeb satellite offering. The test rig was used as the basis of a test bed for OneWeb to enable continued experimentation and collaboration. It will support connectivity to various aspects of the OneWeb service.

“This capability will enable mobility customers such as airlines, train operators, and coach companies to leverage the power not only of the OneWeb LEO network, but also terrestrial 5G and legacy GEO satellite networks. A hybrid, multi-beam, multi constellation solution that ensures that passengers remain connected no matter where they are – be it mid-air, mid-ocean or in the most remote corners of the world.” Massimiliano Ladovaz OneWeb CTO

We played a crucial part in the demonstration of the OneWeb service with Satixfy at an ESA outreach day in ECSAT, Harwell. A 5G private network connection was successfully established over the OneWeb network using the Satixfy terminal equipment. In preparation for the future phases, CGI has carried out detailed investigation on the design of the 5G network private equipment to meet operator requirements for future aircraft trials.

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