MTN and Omnispace to develop satellite IoT and 5G NTN services

MTN and Omnispace to develop satellite IoT and 5G NTN services

MTN, the largest mobile network operator in Africa, and global communications provider Omnispace have announced a collaboration to provide voice, data, fintech, digital, enterprise, wholesale and API services to over 290 million customers in 19 countries.

This partnership will explore the use of the S-band for satellite services to expand MTN's portfolio of wireless services in its markets. The S-band is a designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a part of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum covering frequencies from 2 to 4 GHz, portions of which are being freed up in a number of countries for satellite services.

The companies will explore the integration of MTN's terrestrial mobile networks with the Omnispace non-terrestrial network (NTN), leveraging 3GPP standards, to serve consumer mobile and enterprise IoT services. The companies will also explore how they may collaborate on the development and growth of an ecosystem of devices and software.

Under the agreement, Omnispace will develop a next-generation standards-based mobile and IoT network designed to serve MTN markets. In the interim, the companies will partner to test existing technology, and prove capabilities and use cases using Omnispace's on-orbit satellites.

Omnispace says that, by leveraging 5G technologies, it is combining the global footprint of a non-geostationary satellite constellation with the mobile networks of the world's leading telecom companies to bring an interoperable ‘one network’ connectivity to users and IoT devices anywhere on the globe.  

This is the second recent announcement involving Omnispace and S-band communications. In February we reported that Brazilian regulator Anatel had approved a request from Omnispace subsidiary Omnispace Comunicações Brasil to operate its non-geostationary satellite (NGSO) system nationwide using the S-band.

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