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Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 10:44 HKT/SGT
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Source: NTT DOCOMO
Japanese Consortium Achieves World's First Demonstration of 5G Communication from Altitude of 4km Using 38GHz Band
- Major Step Toward Realization of 5G Communication from Stratosphere -

TOKYO, May 29, 2024 - (JCN Newswire) - SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, INC., the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) ,and Panasonic Holdings Corporation (Panasonic HD) jointly announced today that they have successfully conducted a 5G communication verification test in the 38GHz band*1 from an altitude of approximately 4km using a small Cessna aircraft operated by Kyoritsu Air Survey Co., Ltd. simulating the eventual use of High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS)*2. The demonstration was the first of its kind in the world.

In this groundbreaking trial to demonstrate the practical application of 5G feeder link*3 and backhaul line*4 for HAPS, a Cessna aircraft was equipped with newly developed communication equipment (“Cessna onboard station”) that is expected to be deployed eventually in HAPS. Additionally, a lens-type antenna with an auto-tracking function was used as the HAPS ground station (“ground station”).

The trial established an aerial relay backhaul line between the Cessna aircraft, flying at altitude of approximately 4km, and three ground stations, using the 5G New Radio (NR) standard*5 with 38GHz band radio waves, which is a novel approach for terrestrial 5G networks. The achievement of multiple backhaul line consisting of aerial relays using the 5G NR standard with 38GHz band radio waves was a world first in telecommunication technology*6.

Verification test

With 5G evolution underway and 6G implementation on the horizon, various efforts are being made to expand coverage areas. Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN)*7 using HAPS is a promising technology for such expansions, so the results from this demonstration will help accelerate the practical application of HAPS networks.

The four organizations involved in this project are committed to continuing their joint efforts, aiming at the early delivery of 5G from the stratosphere via an NTN using HAPS.

The demonstration is part of a project focused on wireless communication systems using HAPS led by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications*8.

(1) 38.0-39.5GHz frequency band was designated for HAPS fixed communication at 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference.
(2) Radio station onboard unmanned aircraft capable of flying in the stratosphere up to several months and equipped with repeaters, etc. to cover a 100-200km diameter for the skies, seas and unpopulated/mountainous regions where coverage has been economically unfeasible.
(3) Relay communications between HAPS and ground station.
(4) Fixed line that supports high-speed, high-capacity transmission between wireless base stations and core mobile network. The Core mobile network acts as a command center, managing authentication, authorization, and communication sessions (Control Plane). It also transfers data between the application server outside the core network and the terminal (User Plane).
(5) New 5G wireless access technology, developed by 3GPP project in which various national standardization bodies are working to coordinate mobile-communication specifications.
(6) As of April 3, 2024, according to research conducted by Panasonic HD.
(7) A system that utilizes a variety of communication platforms, such as satellites, HAPS, drones, etc., to establish a multi-layered connection across different spatial dimensions, including sea, air, and space, extending beyond terrestrial boundaries.
(8) Core plan of this R&D: www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/joho_tsusin/eng/pressrelease/2020/6/15_1.html

About SKY Perfect JSAT

SKY Perfect JSAT is Asia's largest satellite operator with a fleet of 17 satellites, and Japan's only provider of both Multi-channel Pay TV broadcasting and satellite communications services. SKY Perfect JSAT delivers a broad range of entertainment through the “SKY PerfecTV!” platform, the most extensive in Japan with over 2 million subscribers. SKY Perfect JSAT's satellite communications services, which cover Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Pacific Ocean and North America, play a vital role in supporting communications infrastructures for mobile backhaul, government, aviation, maritime, oil & gas and disaster recovery.For more information, visit our corporate website (www.skyperfectjsat.space/en) and Space Business website (www.skyperfectjsat.space/jsat/en/).

About NTT DOCOMO

NTT DOCOMO, Japan's leading mobile operator with over 89 million subscriptions, is one of the world's foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond core communications services, DOCOMO is challenging new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities ("+d" partners), creating exciting and convenient value-added services that change the way people live and work. Under a medium-term plan toward 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a leading-edge 5G network to facilitate innovative services that will amaze and inspire customers beyond their expectations. www.docomo.ne.jp/english/

About NICT

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) is Japan's sole National Research and Development Agency specializing in the field of information and communications technology and is charged with promoting the ICT sector as well as research and development in ICT, which drives economic growth and creates an affluent, safe and secure society.For more information, visit www.nict.go.jp/en/

About the Panasonic Group

Founded in 1918, and today a global leader in developing innovative technologies and solutions for wide-ranging applications in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, industry, communications, and energy sectors worldwide, the Panasonic Group switched to an operating company system on April 1, 2022 with Panasonic Holdings Corporation serving as a holding company and eight companies positioned under its umbrella. The Group reported consolidated net sales of 8,496.4 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2024. To learn more about the Panasonic Group, please visit: https://holdings.panasonic/global/

For more information, visit www.docomo.ne.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2024/0528_00.html




Topic: New Service
Source: NTT DOCOMO

Sectors: Telecoms, 5G
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