Global com­mu­ni­ca­tions provider In­marsat eyes po­ten­tial of China’s 5G

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE - By Li Xuan­min Page Ed­i­tor: lix­u­an­[email protected]­al­times.com.cn

In­ter­na­tional satel­lite-based com­mu­ni­ca­tions provider In­marsat is eye­ing China’s huge mar­itime satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket de­spite the on­go­ing trade war with the US, and it’s es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in real-time con­nec­tiv­ity with the ar­rival of the 5G era in China, CEO Ru­pert Pearce told the Global Times.

The Uk-based com­pany aims to in­te­grate its mar­itime satel­lite net­work with China’s land­based, com­mer­cial 5G net­work to cater to the na­tion’s ex­pand­ing con­sumer base.

“China’s mar­itime satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket is very large and grow­ing rapidly. It’s also among the world’s most in­no­va­tive,” said Pearce. Many crew mem­bers in the global mer­chant ma­rine fleet and the fish­ery sec­tor hail from China.

The Uk-based com­pany has over the past 40 years launched and op­er­ated 13 satellites in geo­sta­tion­ary or­bits to pro­vide suc­ces­sive and full broad­band global net­work ser­vices that cover L-band broad­band, high-speed Ka-band and Euro­pean in­flight Wi-fi S-band ser­vices, al­low­ing wireless net­works to be ac­cessed from the sea and the skies.

In­marsat started co­op­er­at­ing with and sup­port­ing the Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem five years ago.

For ex­am­ple, Bei­dou and In­marsat have jointly de­vel­oped a mar­itime satel­lite fleet­phone for the fish­ery fleet in East China’s Fu­jian Province. The de­vice, which in­te­grates the nav­i­ga­tion ser­vice with the com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice, is man­u­fac­tured in China.

In­marsat is also will­ing to col­lab­o­rate with more Chi­nese part­ners in coun­tries and re­gions along the routes of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI) where Bei­dou has a pres­ence, he said.

In 2015, the Lon­don-listed group signed a deal with the China Trans­port Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion & In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre to de­liver satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions along BRI routes.

The satel­lite group has big plans in China con­nected with the coun­try’s soon-to-be com­mer­cial­ized 5G net­work.

“China is lead­ing the way around the world in 5G ser­vice, which puts con­nec­tiv­ity at the heart of … in­dus­tries like au­to­ma­tion, dig­i­tal­iza­tion, the use of big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. We could help extend China’s 5G con­nec­tiv­ity into the sea, into the sky and into re­mote and rural ar­eas un­der a satel­lite-based net­work, serv­ing as a back-up to a ter­res­trial 5G net­work,” Pearce said.

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