World’s First 5G/6G Satellite Enters Orbit

According to the official WeChat account of “China Mobile,” the message reads, “Two stars knocking on the sky, joining heaven and earth as one.” On February 3, two earth-connected low-orbit test satellites carrying China Mobile’s satellite base stations and core network equipment were successfully launched into orbit.

Among them, the “China Mobile 01 Satellite” is equipped with a satellite base station that supports 5G evolution technology, making it the world’s first satellite for testing 5G evolution technology. The “Core Star Verification Satellite” carries the industry’s first satellite core network system designed with 6G concepts and capable of in-orbit operations, making it the world’s first satellite to verify the 6G architecture.

This dual-satellite test system is the world’s first integrated space-based verification system for 5G evolution and 6G technologies, representing a significant breakthrough in China Mobile’s advancement of integrated space and ground networks.

Satellite Image

The “China Mobile 01 Satellite” was jointly developed by China Mobile, StarTimes, and Lucent. The satellite’s base station features lightweight, domestically-produced, and environmentally-friendly hardware design principles, along with high real-time, flexibility, and reliability in software design. It incorporates two key innovations: software reconfiguration and resource pooling technology to adapt to the evolving integrated space and ground network technologies, and the integration of high-reliability algorithms with industrial-grade components to balance performance and cost while operating in complex space environments like particle radiation, ionization, and vacuum.

The “Core Star Verification Satellite” carries a satellite core network system known as “Core Star,” which follows a distributed autonomous architecture for 6G, utilizing domestically-produced software and hardware. It supports software reconfiguration in orbit, flexible deployment of core network functions, and autonomous management to further enhance the efficiency and reliability of the satellite core network’s in-orbit operations.

This represents another milestone achievement for 6G development by China Mobile following the “Three-Body-Four-Layer-Five-Face” network architecture.

Second Satellite Image

The test satellites orbit at an altitude of approximately 500 kilometers. In contrast to geostationary satellites at 36,000 kilometers, low-orbit satellites offer significant advantages such as low latency and high data transmission rates, making them a crucial platform for future integrated space and ground networks.

By combining a large-scale low-orbit satellite constellation with ground mobile systems, the space-ground integrated network can address coverage gaps in ground mobile networks, provide higher-bandwidth satellite internet services, extend ground mobile networks to remote land areas, oceans, and aviation, connecting consumers globally and offering integrated new services to various industries.

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