Keysight Technologies, Inc and Samsung Electronics' System LSI Business have teamed up to demonstrate 5G New Radio (NR) non-terrestrial networks (NTN) enabling satellite-to-smartphone data connections at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023 (MWC23). Presented at Keysight's booth, Hall 5 Stand 5E12, the demonstration will feature two-way SMS texting and video streaming over a live 5G NTN connection. 

Satellite-to-ground communication based on 5G standards is a critical step to building NTNs that deliver ubiquitous mobile connectivity and broadband internet access to populations living in rural areas. The collaboration between Keysight and Samsung demonstrates how this new technology integrates 5G into space communication and speeds up the implementation of 3GPP Rel-17 designs.

The demonstration will be conducted by emulating a constellation of satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) through the Keysight PROPSIM Channel Emulator and establishing a 5G connection between the Keysight E7515B UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform and Samsung's Exynos Modem platform. Despite being in lower altitude orbits, LEO satellites move at very high speeds creating high Doppler fluctuations and signal degradations that require compensation to achieve reliable connections and provide end-to-end quality of service.

Keysight's wireless test platform combines 5G NR and narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) NTN signaling with real-world channel emulation hardware and software to create an end-to-end, mixed terrestrial and space communication testbed. This lab-based platform realistically simulates a wide range of orbit trajectories, including LEO and geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), to address these technical challenges, optimize user equipment (UE) designs, and validate UE implementations prior to network deployments.

Huiwon Je, vice president of the modem development team at Samsung Electronics, said, "Innovation in 5G technology is only possible when working side-by-side with partners like Keysight. Samsung has been at the forefront of 5G modem technology and with Keysight's emulators and test platforms, we are able to quickly develop and evaluate 5G NTN connections using our Exynos Modem development platform."

Peng Cao, vice president and general manager for Keysight's Wireless Test Group, said, “By working closely with partners such as Samsung, Keysight is helping deliver the innovation needed to bring broadband connectivity to areas where terrestrial cellular networks are not a viable option. Through comprehensive, end-to-end emulation solutions, we are able to test early in the design cycle with realistic conditions to address a range of complexities that enable device makers to deliver on the promise of NTN."