Located in Redmond, Washington KemidaThe mobile connectivity company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has partnered with One net Test the satellite broadband service using Kymeta’s u8 panel antenna system.
“I am happy to report that these tests are great,” Kymeta’s chief strategy and marketing officer Neville Meijers told GeekWire. “Both groups of management are very satisfied with the performance of the antenna.”
Meijers said that the satellite acquisition, tracking, and throughput tests conducted in Toulouse, France in July should be a good sign, providing emergency services as well as government, military, and corporate customers with always-on mobile connections.
This market is the best choice for Kymeta and OneWeb, a satellite constellation company partially owned by the British government. One of OneWeb’s main partners is Airbus, headquartered in the Toulouse region.
Today’s report on the Kymeta-OneWeb team and this week’s Satellite Conference 2021.
Kymeta is one of several metamaterial-based companies supported by Gates-a peculiar electronic array that can be “controlled” fixed flat panel antennas using software.Commercial applications of this technology are in Intellectual investment, Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.
Since last year, Kymeta’s u8 terminal has been commercially available and can be used for hybrid cellular satellite connection applications. In the July test, the terminal was modified to connect to OneWeb’s network of nearly 300 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
Meijers stated that the system can receive signals at a rate of more than 200 Mbit/s and transmit at a speed of more than 40 Mbps with a delay of 30 to 70 milliseconds. Latency—the time it takes to receive a signal at the speed of light—is a key advantage of low-orbit constellations. The shorter the time, the better the response to applications such as video conferencing.
“Typical GEO [geostationary Earth orbit] The network will be within 600 milliseconds,” Meijers said. “Typical LTE [cellular] The network will be between 40 and 80 milliseconds. “
More importantly, Meijers said the signal-to-noise ratio was “impressive.”
Valery Gineste, OneWeb’s senior technical director, said he was “excited by the performance demonstrated in these early test results.”
“U8 will provide another excellent choice for OneWeb customers, especially those with limited space requirements or who need mobile communications,” Gineste said at a press conference.
Based on tests in Toulouse, Meijers estimates that Kymeta’s OneWeb terminal will be launched in mid-2022.
“In the second half of 2022, we will actually launch a terminal that can automatically switch between GEO and LEO,” he said. Meijers said this is particularly attractive to defense customers who want to switch between high-security GEO and low-latency LEO channels. These customers and first responders constitute Kymeta’s initial target market.
“We are not a product for home consumers-although in the future, with the mobile products needed for autonomous vehicles, connected cars, buses, mining, trucking, and agriculture, we will definitely focus on building our market Products provided by the field,” Meijers said.
OneWeb says it will Began to provide broadband Internet services in the Arctic By the end of this year, its goal is to achieve full global coverage by the middle of 2022. Kymeta’s u8 terminal will be one of several options provided for OneWeb connection.
The cooperation with OneWeb is just one of Kymeta’s satellite connection partners: the existing u8 system can connect to satellites operated by various GEO satellite companies, including Intelsat, Echostar and Telesat. Last winter, Kymeta successfully tested its u8 terminal using Kepler’s LEO constellation, which is optimized for smart device networks.
Other major players in the LEO satellite connection market include SpaceX, whose Starlink network is currently in advanced test mode; Amazon is laying the foundation for its Kuiper project network, but has not yet launched any satellites. Meijers talked about a question about plans to cooperate with Starlink or Kuiper.
“I can only say that we work with all LEO constellations,” he said. “We believe that OneWeb and Starlink are both driving the huge development of the satellite industry, and we welcome this. … The competition has verified the business model we are pursuing, and we welcome cooperation with all LEO and GEO participants in the market.”