NanoAvionics Partners OQ Technology to Bring 5G Connectivity to Africa, Others

NanoAvionics has signed a contract with OQ Technology, a multinational satellite Internet of Things (IoT) company, to build, integrate and operate a nanosatellite for their 5G IoT mission named Tiger-2. The 6U satellite is the second mission for the Lithuanian smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator with OQ Technology and the latest addition to OQ Technology’s growing low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation nanosatellites.

Their constellation intends to provide essential commercial IoT and M2M services, using 5G connectivity, to customers focusing on Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

OQ Technology expects to generate revenue with this satellite, scheduled to launch this year. The company will take advantage of NanoAvionics’ fast satellite built-time in a few months due to its automotive approach for speedy bus manufacturing to meet that deadline.

Following the launch, OQ Technology aims to quickly add two other missions to its constellation, followed by a batch of 6 satellites.

Through the Tiger-2 mission, the company also intends to secure strategic frequency licenses and partnerships in key countries.

As part of the Tiger-2 mission, NanoAvionics will integrate two payloads into the modular spacecraft. The primary payload will provide satellite-based IoT and M2M services using low frequencies. The secondary payload will demonstrate the feasibility of using high frequencies for 5G IoT radio links. To deliver widespread coverage and 5G IoT/M2M communication, in line with 3GPP recommendations, OQ Technology is using spectrum in the mid-band 5G (Sub-6 GHz) frequency bands.

Tiger-2 is a continuation of the collaboration between NanoAvionics and OQ Technology, following MACSAT, the world’s first agile nanosatellite mission dedicated to 5G IoT in LEO, led by OQ Technology and supplied by NanoAvionics.

OQ Technology is the first 5G IoT operator, building a global hybrid system that combines both satellite and terrestrial wireless networks. It will enable expanding the 4G and 5G IoT footprint globally, which plays a critical role in enabling mobility in vertical markets such as smart cars and drones, transport, logistics, and maritime. Moreover, it provides a unique value for low latency applications (which are critical for 5G) as the satellite is in low earth orbit and provide few milliseconds latency communication, which traditional GEO satellites operators cannot do.

Their hybrid system will provide seamless connectivity using 5G standards, terrestrial 5G hardware and chips for various IoT applications for environmental monitoring and agriculture, logistics, maritime, smart metering, mining and oil & gas, aviation, and defence. OQ Technology already holds patents in using narrowband cellular IoT over non-terrestrial networks and is licensing its satellite frequencies globally.

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