Satellite supports 3G and 4G in Kazakhstan demonstration

Satellite supports 3G and 4G in Kazakhstan demonstration

Following the demonstration of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite support for 5G backhaul in Latin America, reported yesterday, there’s now news of medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite applications for 3G and 4G in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s mobile network operator Kcell, and SES, a global content connectivity provider via satellite, say they have successfully demonstrated satellite-enabled cellular networks in remote parts of Kazakhstan.

Kcell’s terrestrial network was paired with SES’s O3b satellites operating in medium earth orbit to establish and test connectivity for 3G and 4G applications. During the demonstration, SES’s satellite network was validated with a series of technical and end-user tests, proving its compatibility with Kcell’s network to enable low-latency and high-speed internet.

The technical phase of the demonstration examined potential signal delays caused by weather conditions as well as the handover process between the O3b satellites. The established network was further assessed for quality of experience in the end-user testing phase. 

The bandwidth has been established, according to Kcell’s throughput requirements, at 50 Mbps for 4G application and 30 Mbps for 3G application. SES’s MEO satellite network handover performed without any delays or impact on the signal.

Not only was latency said to be five times lower than on the existing geostationary platform but the cellular network has been successfully leveraged for such applications as video streaming, video calling and conferencing as well as web browsing.

This isn’t the only recent SES involvement on connectivity in the country. In November 2021, SES, together with the Republican Centre for Space Communications (RCSC), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry, and AsiaNetCom, a Kazakhstan-based connectivity provider, organized a MEO demonstration in remote parts of Kazakhstan to connect multiple villages with high-speed Wi-Fi networks for the first time.

During the trial, speeds via satellite have been recorded of 380Mbps downlink and 120Mbps uplink.

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