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Satellite IoT startup sets up 5G lab in Luxembourg

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Satellite IoT startup OQ Technology is setting up a European 5G Satellite Test Centre in Luxembourg, having been granted an experimental license for 5G frequencies.

The company is developing a satellite network for the Internet of Things (IoT) based on proprietary basestation software and last year applied for terrestrial and satellite spectrum for 5G services. The license specifies access to three distinct frequency bands, two for mobile satellite frequency bands and band used for terrestrial mobile services.

The company plans a network of 60 satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), with the first, Tiger 2, launched in June 2021. These will work with partner geostationary satellites to provide complete global coverage. The centre in Leudelange will perform live satellite tests of OQ Technology’s user terminals and payload and optimize the scheduling mechanism aboard the satellite as well as testing the NB-IoT software stack under the 3GPP Release 13 specification.

The centre will also test different chipsets, hardware, and antennas that OQ sees being part of user terminals. The company has already developed a battery-powered hybrid programmable Satellite-Cellular terminal with pre-paid data packages via multiple SIMs for remotely monitoring and controlling fixed and mobile assets across transportation, oil and gas, utilities, maritime and agriculture. The terminal supports GSM/LTE-M/NB-IoT and Satellite link both in uplink and downlink and can connect up to 1000 sensors using multiple I/Os.

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The OQ test centre will accelerate market access by performing all required in-orbit validation and product development in Luxembourg with all targeted frequencies rather than travelling to each part of the world to perform live tests.

“This will give us the upper hand in our product development and market access efforts, we are also looking to use our suppliers and subcontractors products integrated in OQ solution to validate the product,” said ” said Omar Qaise, CEO of OQ Technology. “Important also to mention is inviting our European clients and mobile operators to witness the quality of our service and how it integrates to their systems

The next satellite launch for the company after Tiger 2 is the MACSAT in-orbit pathfinder mission. This is funded by the Government of Luxembourg through an ESA contract in the Luxembourg National Space programme (LuxIMPULSE).

OQ Technology, which has offices in Luxembourg, UAE and Rwanda. is also leading a project under the ARTES programme for 5G network configurations over LEO, MEO and GEO satellites. The company is working with the University of Luxembourg and Leaf Space in Italy to build and install a satellite ground station at Bascharage, Luxembourg, close to the OQ Control Centre in Leudelange.

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