Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced the successful testing of 5G satellite backhaul with the company's JUPITER™ System ground platform. Over a series of tests at its Germantown, MD, gateway, Hughes engineers connected 5G smartphones to the internet with JUPITER System infrastructure – including a very small aperture terminal (VSAT), gateway and high throughput satellite. The tests validated the compatibility of the Hughes technology with a 5G open radio access network (O-RAN) system, representative of any 3GPP standards-based, standalone 5G deployment.
"These interoperability tests confirm the suitability and ease of employing the JUPITER System for 5G cellular backhaul," said Bhanu Durvasula, vice president, international division at Hughes. "We've built our ground platform to be future-proof, so customers have a roadmap to transition from LTE traffic today to 5G tomorrow, with the ease of a software update."
Around the world, mobile network operators currently employ JUPITER System equipment to power thousands of backhaul sites for 2G, 3G and LTE traffic – now with a clear path to 5G.
"In our ever-connected world, satellite plays an essential role in helping mobile network operators serve customers everywhere, even in places where terrestrial solutions are not feasible," continued Durvasula. "Satellite provides resiliency for terrestrial networks during peak hours and emergencies and, as part of the 5G network of networks, will also fill the gaps in terrestrial systems."
The tests were conducted across the deployable, standards-based 5G Open RAN-compliant system from COMSovereign, a U.S.-based developer of 4G LTE advanced and 5G communication systems and solutions. The same system is in use by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for evaluation and demonstration of 5G systems.
"We look forward to potential opportunities to work with Hughes and to assist the entire satellite communications industry in harnessing state-of-the-art 5G and beyond technology," said Dr. Dustin McIntire, CTO of COMSovereign. "Satellite and mobile operators can deploy our 5G solution on their existing hardware without disrupting their architectures, along with excellent quality of experience and maximum utilization of available bandwidth."
In use on more than 75 satellites worldwide, the JUPITER System is the most widely used ground platform, setting the de facto standard for conventional and high-throughput implementations such as satellite internet, enterprise networking, community Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular backhaul.