SoftBank, e5 partner to enhance maritime connectivity - Mobile World Live

SoftBank, e5 partner to enhance maritime connectivity

28 NOV 2019

SoftBank and e5 Lab teamed to conduct trials using next-generation communication satellites to improve maritime broadband services, with the goal of developing remote-controlled ships.

Under a recently signed MoU, the companies aim to first conduct tests using existing communication satellites for backhaul from January 2020 to end-May 2020. The vessels will be equipped with flat antennas and local wireless stations.

Trials using next-generation communication satellites are planned for January 2021 to March 2022.

SoftBank and UK-based OneWeb, which forged a partnership in July 2019, will run communication tests using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and flat antennas. IoT devices will also be used onboard and tests conducted with the long-term view to remotely operate vessels from land.

Based on the results, the companies said they will study ways to commercialise marine broadband services using next-generation satellites.

e5 Lab develops electric vessels and is a joint venture between Mitsui OSK, Asahi Tanker and Mitsubishi.

In July, OneWeb Satellites took a key step towards delivering global connectivity via LEO birds, with the inauguration of a factory which will slash the time and costs involved in satellite manufacture.

OneWeb operates the satellite business in a joint venture with Airbus.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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