Is There Space in Space for More 5G Deployment?


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Lockheed Martin and OmniSpace see a place for themselves among the stars and have formed a partnership to explore their 5G possibilities, reports What Lockheed Martin refers to as a “strategic interest agreement” is a pledge to share resources for their mutual benefit, not a financial exchange.

Rick Ambrose, Lockheed Martin Space executive vice president, said the two companies will “be exploring multiple options” adding that, regarding investment opportunities, it was “too early to tell.” For its part, Virginia-based OmniSpace has just swelled its coffers with a $60 million venture capital boost. Omnispace CEO Ram Viswanathan said the system his company has under development will offer “dramatically lower cost than” other cell towers in space, like SpaceX.

“We’re able to deliver the mobile communications capability to a standardized 5G base handset or terminal, and as you can imagine that starts to open up an array of applications,” said Viswanathan. He emphasized that OmniSpaces’ “direct to device capability” did not require the bulky equipment necessary to make rival delivery systems work. “Ultimately, it’s about empowering end users with low latency connections that work anywhere,” stated Ambrose.  

As Lockheed Martin is a military contractor, and OmniSpace is focused on industries like mining and agriculture, analysts speculate that this venture would be aimed at businesses and Space Force operations, whereas SpaceX aims to provide 5G satellite service to individuals, reports

“In collaboration with Lockheed Martin, this hybrid 5G network would provide the coverage and capacity to support essential applications requiring seamless, reliable global communications,” said Viswanathan. “We welcome Lockheed Martin’s holistic approach to complex systems and deep expertise in satellite technology and government markets, along with their commitment to creating innovative communication solutions.”

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