Japan-based NTT struck a multi-year agreement with SES to deliver its edge and private 5G products to enterprise customers through satellite, a move designed to meet a surge in demand the pair claimed is proving beyond the reach of fixed terrestrial networks.

In a joint press release, NTT stated it would use SES’ second-generation medium Earth orbit satellite communications system, dubbed o3b mPower, to deliver its Edge as a Service offering to enterprise customers.

The arrangement will provide “expanded and reliable connectivity”, NTT stated, adding the system is primarily intended for companies operating in regions “where terrestrial networks are lacking”.

NTT positions its Edge-as-a-Service play as offering enterprises opportunities to increase efficiency and grow revenue through edge and IoT, alongside promoting the potential of private networks to propel industries including energy, mining and manufacturing “that have otherwise been limited by connectivity” to ramp digital transformation.

The duo’s satellite-based set-up will deliver coverage to more than 190 countries with public-private roaming, along with making additional services available in application development, system integration and managed services.

Spectrum gap
Olivier Posty, country MD for Luxembourg at NTT, pointed to the benefits of private 5G, saying as customers continue to innovate, “network partners with the right skills and expertise will be critical to success in today’s competitive market”.

Alejandro Cadenas, AVP of EMEA telco mobility research at IDC, said the partnership was an “industry-first milestone” and would also open opportunities in countries “where 5G spectrum is not ready yet”.

SES last week revealed it had entered talks with satellite rival Inmarsat over a possible merger, which could create a company valued at more than $10 billion.