The next focus of satellite Internet competition! China Mobile completed the verification of China’s first 5G mobile phone terminal directly connected to satellite laboratory

Financial Associated Press, May 27 (Editor Liu Yue) China Mobile Research Institute has recently joined hands with industrial partners such as OPPO, ZTE, and Keysight to complete the laboratory test and verification of 5G mobile phone terminals directly connected to satellites. The test verification is based on the completion of the world’s first field test of operator terminals directly connected to satellites in August 2022, and is aimed at enhancing feature solutions such as capacity, delay, and speed, and carries out the first domestic IoT-NTN satellite communication 5G mobile phone test verification , with good performance.

The application scenarios of traditional satellite communication are relatively limited. Only by realizing the direct connection between satellites and smartphones and opening up the business model of consumer payment, can there be greater market vitality and room for growth. A research report released by CICC Liu Zhongyu and others on April 27 pointed out that mobile phone direct connection to satellite technology refers to the 3GPP system, which enables ordinary mobile phones to be connected to the outside world through satellites, and is the next focus of satellite Internet competition .

Guosheng Securities pointed out that satellite connections can help fill the gaps in terrestrial cellular networks. The use of satellite Internet to provide services for mobile phones has become an area of ​​concern for telecom companies, mobile phone manufacturers and satellite operators. Many manufacturers are actively deploying mobile phones directly connected to satellites . business and product .

In addition to AST SpaceMobile, companies such as LynkGlobal and SpaceX have business layouts in the field of mobile phone direct connection to satellites. Domestic companies such as China Mobile and China Telecom have achieved end-to-end verification of 5GNTN for GEO orbiting satellites based on the 3GPP R17 NTN protocol. Liu Zhongyu believes that the direct connection of mobile phones to satellites to effectively serve the public users is expected to become one of the key basic technologies for building an integrated space-ground information network . The development of mobile phone direct connection technology is expected to drive the upgrading of communication satellite technology, and the demand for key products such as phased array antennas and on-board processing loads is expected to increase significantly.

According to a research report released by Huaan Securities analyst Chen Jing on April 1, from the perspective of the continuity of network evolution and the scalability of business models, the adaptive improvement and enhancement of the terrestrial 3GPP mobile communication system will enable mobile phones to directly connect to satellites . will become the mainstream trend . The key technologies of 5GNTN include time-frequency synchronization, random access, HARQ, power control, MCS self-adaptation, satellite beam planning and scheduling, etc.

Liu Zhongyu pointed out that the technology of directly connecting mobile phones to satellites will enrich the application scenarios of satellite communications , and the mass market will open up a broad space for the industry to develop. According to GSMA analysis data, the number of independent mobile users in the world will be 5.4 billion in 2022, and will reach 6.3 billion by 2030, and billions of smartphones will have the ability to directly connect to satellites . The direct connection of mobile phones to satellites can reduce the network construction cost of ground operators, and will also provide users with richer application scenarios and better communication guarantees. According to the survey data at the 2023 US Small Satellite Symposium, about 70% of users are willing to pay for SMS and voice services connected to satellites. NSR predicts that the global mobile phone direct connection service revenue will exceed 66.8 billion US dollars in the next ten years , providing a solid foundation for the satellite Internet market. Open up more space for development.

Chen Jing further analyzed and pointed out that the direct connection of mobile phones to satellites will open up the application space of satellite Internet in the civilian market, bringing new incremental markets for satellite-borne phased arrays, inter-satellite links, signal processing, and mobile phone chips . The release of a new generation of new products may become a catalyst for the sector . In addition, the direct connection of mobile phones to satellites will also bring new opportunities for operators to share new C-end markets.

Chen Jing suggested paying attention to: 1) Phased array: Chengchang Technology (t/r chip), Yaguang Technology (microwave device); 2) Signal processing: Xinke Mobile, Creative Information, Fudan Microelectronics (fpga); 3) Inter-satellite link: Accelink Technology (laser device), Guangku Technology (tuner); 4) Mobile phone chips: Huali Chuangtong, Dianke chips; 5) Others: Potevio Technology (ground core network), Zhenyou Technology (ground core network), Tianyin Electromechanical (Xingmin), Tianao Electronics (time-frequency), Jiayuan Technology (encryption board).

Liu Zhongyu is optimistic about the development prospects of mobile phone direct connection to satellite technology, and the investment opportunities in satellite manufacturing and application links brought about by it. Focus on: 1) Satellite manufacturing: Chengchang Technology, Zhenlei Technology, Zhenhua Technology, Aerospace Electric , it is recommended to pay attention to China Satellite, Aerospace Electronics, Kangtuo Infrared ; 2) Satellite applications: Aerospace Hongtu, Zhongke Star Map, CTI For navigation , it is recommended to pay attention to China Satcom .

It is worth noting that analysts said that in terms of technology, mobile phone terminals directly connected to satellites still face problems such as too small transmission power, too large antenna size, poor antenna directional tracking capability, difficulties in developing broadband baseband chips, and short battery life of mobile phones. challenge. In terms of business, compared with traditional communications, the input cost of current satellite communications is still higher , and the application scenarios are relatively single.

(Liu Yue, Financial Associated Press)