5G satellite operator QO technology revealed six pending patent applications in the United States and Europe that will improve IoT and M2M satellite communications in remote locations. OQ Technology’s patent applications include ‘wake-up’ technology for satellite Internet of Things (IoT) devices, IoT device location, frequency and timing synchronization, inter-satellite link technology and design. satellite systems.
The different technologies within these applications allow the customers of the Luxembourg company to benefit from a better quality of service, to save energy and to exchange data more easily and more efficiently. They will be implemented aboard its constellation of satellites planned in low earth orbit (LEO). The constellation’s first commercial IoT satellite, OQ’s Tiger-2 satellite, which launched in June, performed well during the launch and early orbit (LEOP) phase, and is now reaching the final stages of the payload commissioning phase.
“Obtaining intellectual property rights is a strategic necessity for businesses and NewSpace is no exception”, noted Omar Qaise, Founder and CEO of OQ Technology. “If applications in the United States and Europe progress as expected, I expect OQ Technology to obtain patents within the next two years in Europe, and much faster than in the United States. The technologies we use dramatically improve our service of delivering 5G IoT connectivity to remote locations where terrestrial solutions are struggling or where existing satellite solutions are too expensive. Most importantly, our patent portfolio will protect our position and our investments. It will also set up a huge barrier to entry and legal protection for companies entering the same field, especially when it comes to using cellular IoT and 5G on non-terrestrial networks. . ”
The technologies for patent applications are:
- “Wake-up” – a smart power saving function within the terminal IoT device that allows the device to wake up effectively and communicate with the base station (satellite). It adapts to the increase in the number of base stations and connects to 1,000 sensors. Through “wake-up”, OQ aims to meet the 10-year battery life requirement set by 3GPP standards.
- “Terminal device location”, which allows a terminal device to be located, using the stored data of the base station (s) instead of an expensive global positioning system.
- “Inter-satellite links”, making it possible to keep the different base stations informed about each other and also to register the terminal devices that can be connected to the different base stations. This will facilitate the transfer between the base stations. In the future, this will also include GEO satellites.
- “Frequency Synchronization” and “Time Synchronization” – they synchronize communication and thus improve signaling between terminals and base stations to overcome Doppler effect problems (change in wavelength of moving objects) and timing misalignment issues. This improves the quality of data transmissions and data throughput capacity, and also saves energy.
- A satellite system design and network architecture for IoT cellular communication between space and earth stations.
OQ Technology has developed algorithms and complementary software, in accordance with 3GPP cellular standards for Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), to ensure that IoT devices can seamlessly switch between terrestrial and satellite connectivity to overcome connectivity issues in remote locations without modifying the cellular standards. The company’s software stack resembles a “cell tower” in the sky and is integrated with its payloads and satellites.
“In 2017, OQ took the audacity to create its own software stack from scratch, based on the 3GPP standard, and to implement its own satellite activation algorithms. said Qaise. “Having our own stack and being able to control traffic and quality of service for our users gives us a huge competitive advantage over other players who depend on third parties and new companies that have yet to deliver.
“Other existing cell phone tower software stacks are highly proprietary technology built by companies like Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei that would likely not give us access and allow us to adapt it to a satellite environment. “
For some applications such as drone control, vehicle telematics, and artificial intelligence, latency is a very critical factor. GEO satellites can take at least 250 milliseconds and cannot meet requirements below 10ms. OQ Technology’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellites bridge this gap for latency critical applications and deliver high data density, quality of service and fast response time.
The company has also developed technology that allows it to use the cheaper standard mobile chips ($ 5) for its satellite connectivity, instead of the expensive satellite chip ($ 100) that would have to be installed and used when leaving terrestrial networks. . This unique combination of seamless connectivity in otherwise unconnected locations using standard mobile chips at a fraction of the cost, makes it ideal for IoT service providers. OQ protected both the software of its base station in the payload and the firmware of the chip on the ground.
“A match with the same price or a price as close to that of the cell phone will provide many use cases and will open up a big market for us”, said Qaise. “This is why we have decided to target this market, especially in rural and remote areas such as Africa, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas, where infrastructure is lacking. We integrate cell phone towers into the payload of our LEO telecommunications satellites, providing opportunities for many latency tolerant and low latency applications. “