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Ligado and Mavenir Partner to Develop Base Stations for 5G Mobile Satellite Network

Ligado | August 20, 2021

Mobile communications company Ligado Networks today advanced its plan to deploy the first 5G mobile satellite network for the Internet of Things, announcing it is partnering with Mavenir to develop base stations for advanced connectivity services that enable business-critical operations anywhere in the United States and North America.

Ligado's 5G satellite IoT network will support tens of millions of mobile devices powering critical machine-to-machine communications for businesses requiring ubiquitous, continental coverage. The company plans to launch service trials in 2022, providing standalone satellite or multi-layer connections to enterprise customers in the transportation, agriculture, utilities, and energy sectors.

The satellite network adds extended coverage and network redundancy to the company's planned 5G mobile private network solution, thereby enabling always-on connectivity and coverage across an enterprise's entire footprint. It will also add to the capabilities of other terrestrial wireless operators by making use of mainstream, low-cost chipsets and devices that can support both mobile satellite and terrestrial connectivity.

"We are deeply committed to supporting critical infrastructure enterprises as they modernize their operations for a 21st Century economy," said Ligado Chief Executive Officer Doug Smith. "Ubiquitous network coverage and reliability are especially essential for critical device communications, which makes our 5G satellite IoT network a pivotal tool to ensure always-on connectivity and data management for an enterprise's entire fleet of devices."

Ligado plans to adapt 3GPP standards-based technology for mobile satellite use, which will enable the network to support devices using mainstream, low-cost chipsets that can also operate on terrestrial IoT networks. With the 22-meter reflector-based antenna of Ligado's SkyTerra 1 satellite, the network will also support the small, low-cost IoT devices being used for innovative applications like vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, first-responder connectivity, and smart metering.

Mavenir's complete portfolio of cloud native solutions provides mobile core, IoT, and Open vRAN for 5G.

"We are excited to work with Ligado on ORAN-based 5G base station development. With this engagement, Mavenir and the ORAN ecosystem not only strengthen their place in enterprise deployments but also enter a phase of innovation in cellular service delivery via non-terrestrial networks," said Pardeep Kohli, president and CEO of Mavenir. "We are looking forward to expanding our Open RAN product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks and their co-existence in the future."

The partnership highlights Ligado's industry leadership in developing IoT standards for mobile satellite networks. The company has led work within the 3GPP to develop such standards, which will help satellite and terrestrial networks operate in harmony.

"We're delighted to apply Mavenir's unmatched 5G network technology prowess to deliver 3GPP-based IoT services via the crucial mobile satellite network layer," said Ligado Chief Technology Officer Maqbool Aliani. "Ligado's uniquely capable North American satellite network unlocks a highly compelling market by bringing mainstream IoT devices to a continental satellite footprint."

About Ligado Networks
Building on 25 years of experience providing crucial satellite connectivity, our mission is to modernize American businesses by delivering secure and reliable 5G connectivity solutions needed to transform their operations and realize the efficiencies of a digital world. Our plans to deploy licensed mid-band spectrum in public and private 5G networks will help pave the way for future innovations and economic growth across America.

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Spotlight

Technological advances over the past couple of decades have fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and interact with one another and brought business disruption on a massive scale. Amazon® is arguably the biggest disrupter of them all – driving a huge shift to online buying over brick-and-mortar retail with its relentless focus on data-driven decision making and delivering the best possible end user experiences – like competitive pricing, massive inventory, and ridiculously fast delivery. The company has completely reshaped customer expectations. People now take it for granted they can find whatever they want on a website and have it on their doorstep in a couple of days or less.

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