5G Network to be Demonstrated from Space by Lockheed Martin

On November 16, 2023, Lockheed Martin announced the hopeful 2024 launch of a payload to low earth orbit that would allow what they call an “all domain network”. A 5G communication between space assets, aircraft, ships, and ground forces. The launch was to serve as the first demonstration of this capability. The 5G connectivity would be the first regenerative 5G satellite base station for networks not located on Earth. In this case, regenerative means the network would target to communicate directly from the spacecraft with no earth-based networks needed. The ambitious plan would hopefully offer services to the DoD and other military partners. The payload technology was tested in October of 2023 proving as a successful test of the hardware of the non-terrestrial network.

While this certainly isn’t the first time 5G communication has been tested in space, it is the first time all network processing has been completed on the spacecraft. Lockheed Martin simply stated it as all the network software and hardware is located on board, including the user authentications into the network. This is much different than how other high powered radio networks operate, especially when it comes to cyber security and security of those communications. Especially with the satellite being in Low Earth orbit. Lockheed Martin rebuttals these concerns that because of this design the payload can operate to withstand such things especially when its operating over territory where secure communications to the ground is not possible.

Source: https://spacenews.com/lockheed-martin-to-demonstrate-space-based-5g-network/