Deutsche-SPL test 4G voice & data connectivity at stratosphere edge

Date: 2020-10-21   Author: Saipriya Iyer  Category: #news

Deutsche-SPL test 4G voice & data connectivity at stratosphere edge

Deutsche Telekom and Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL) have reportedly conducted the world’s 1st successful 4G voice & data connectivity demonstration. The demonstration has been made by flying at the stratosphere edge and fully integrating the connectivity into a commercial mobile network.

Since the beginning of October, multiple test flights were carried out by using a remote-controlled aircraft system in Bavaria, at approximately 14-km altitude to develop data and voice connectivity through antennas installed on this aircraft. This has enabled a standard smartphone to make VoLTE (voice over LTE) calls, data downloads, video calls, and web browsing. During the test flight, the standard smartphone was connected to the terrestrial mobile network of Deutsche through antennas installed on the aircraft.

The recent stratosphere test showed upload speeds of 20-Mbps and download speed of 70-Mbps in the range of 2.1-GHz over the 10-MHz channel bandwidth. This test has discovered that an airplane can make use of special antennas to offer radio cells, by flying at a high altitude and with up to 100-km diameter to supplement the mobile network on the ground.

The test has led to the belief that the use of mobile radio would be possible, particularly in areas that are in the radio shadow, due to geographical elevators. Deutsche has cited that there was a seamless transition of the mobile radio connection from the classic cellular mast to the flying antennas.

As per the statement made by Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Managing Director of Deutsche Funkturm (Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary), the recent test demonstrates that the company would be able to bring fast calls and Internet connectivity in the future. The new technology can be credited to the combined expertise of SPL and Deutsche. The flying base stations will be a beneficial and cost-effective addition to the existing mobile communications network, especially in areas where access with traditional mobile masts is difficult.

Stratospheric Platforms is working with partners to create a remote-controlled, hydrogen-powered aircraft as well as associated communications payload and ground-based infrastructure. The 1st flight is scheduled for mid-2022.

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer currently works as a content developer for AlgosOnline. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her belt, she has dabbled with website...

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