Aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin teamed with start-up Omnispace to develop a satellite-based 5G system to supplement terrestrial coverage.

The companies explained they would combine Lockheed Martin’s satellite technology and government market expertise with a 3GPP-compliant mobile network in the works from Omnispace to deliver a 5G system running on 2GHz spectrum for commercial and official users.

Rick Ambrose, EVP of Lockheed Martin Space, stated the project “has the potential to upend space-based mobility”.

In December 2020, Omnispace raised $60 million to fund its launch plan and acquire 2GHz spectrum in key global markets. At the time, the company said it expected initial components of its system to enter service in 2022.

They join several other companies pursuing space-based connectivity, including Intelsat and OneWeb.

Vodafone Group-backed AST SpaceMobile recently unveiled plans to begin offering mobile service from its network of satellites in 2023, while Russian operator MegaFon is exploring options to close coverage gaps.