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China Mobile takes the lead with first 6G Test Satellite
China Mobile, the world's largest telecom carrier by mobile subscribers, has successfully launched the world's first satellite to test 6G architecture, marking a milestone in its efforts to explore integrated space and ground communication technology.
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China Mobile takes the lead with first 6G Test Satellite
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Feb 06, 2024

China Mobile, in a pioneering move that marks a significant milestone in telecommunications technology, has successfully launched the world's first test satellite utilizing 6G design architecture. This launch, conducted on Saturday, positions China Mobile at the forefront of the next generation of wireless technology, further solidifying its status as a global telecom giant. Alongside the 6G satellite, another satellite featuring China Mobile's 5G technology was also launched, showcasing the company's ongoing commitment to advancing communication technologies.

The 6G test satellite, set in a low-earth orbit (LEO) at approximately 500 kilometers above Earth, distinguishes itself by employing a distributed autonomous architecture for 6G. This innovative approach was co-developed by China Mobile and the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Leveraging domestic software and hardware, the satellite supports in-orbit software reconstruction, flexible deployment of core network functions, and automated management. This capability is a leap forward in enhancing the efficiency and reliability of in-orbit operations of satellite core networks.

One of the critical advantages of LEO satellites, as demonstrated by this initiative, is their ability to offer low latency and high data transfer rates. These attributes are particularly beneficial compared with higher orbit satellites, which operate at much greater distances from the Earth. By operating closer to the Earth's surface, LEO satellites like those launched by China Mobile can significantly improve the quality and speed of satellite internet services, providing a promising solution to telecom signal coverage gaps in terrestrial mobile networks.

China Mobile's venture into 6G and advanced satellite technology underscores the potential for a future where integrated space and ground networks play a critical role in global telecommunications. The company envisions these experimental satellites as pivotal platforms for the development of higher bandwidth satellite internet services worldwide, addressing the ever-increasing demand for faster and more reliable internet access in remote and underserved areas.

In alignment with its strategic vision, China Mobile has announced plans to conduct in-orbit experiments based on these test satellites. The aim is to accelerate the integration and development of space-to-ground technology industries, paving the way for seamless connectivity and enhanced communication services across the globe.

This launch not only demonstrates China Mobile's leadership and innovation in the telecom industry but also represents a critical step towards the realization of 6G technology. As the world increasingly looks towards the integration of terrestrial and extraterrestrial networks, initiatives like these are crucial in shaping the future of global telecommunications.

The collaboration between China Mobile and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Innovation Academy for Microsatellites, utilizing cutting-edge domestic technology, exemplifies the synergy between China's technological ambitions and its capabilities. As the telecom industry watches closely, the outcomes of these in-orbit experiments are poised to influence the direction of future telecom technologies, including the anticipated transition from 5G to 6G networks.

As China Mobile ventures further into uncharted territory with its 6G satellite technology, the global telecom landscape stands on the brink of a new era. The success of these experimental satellites could herald the advent of more integrated, efficient, and comprehensive communication solutions, reinforcing China Mobile's position as a pioneer in the telecom sector.

Related Links
China National Space Agency
Satellite-based Internet technologies

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