Telesat completes 5G backhaul demo over LEO satellite

08 May 2019

Satellite operator Telesat, Vodafone Group and the University of Surrey in the UK have successfully completed the world's first 5G backhaul demonstration using a low earth orbit (LEO) communications satellite.

The successful trial demonstrates that LEO satellites can provide effective backhaul transport for mobile operators, including for 5G services, the participants said.

During the live test last month, Telesat's Phase 1 LEO satellite connected to the University of Surrey's 5G testbed, with the support of specialist Vodafone engineers.

The satellite delivered a round trip latency of between 18-40ms, which is among the lowest latency recorded for a satellite connection.

The backhaul was used to support video chat, web browsing and simultaneous streaming of up to 8K video, as well as 4K video transferred to the edge of the 5G network.

“Providing cost effective, high performance backhaul services to MNOs seeking to extend their 4G and 5G networks is an important market for Telesat’s LEO program,” Telesat LEO VP Erwin Hudson said.

“Telesat is collaborating with leading customers like Vodafone, who are experts in their markets, to perform tests and demonstrations on our Phase 1 LEO satellite that help us optimize the design of our LEO system to most effectively meet their future requirements.”

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