Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has announced its plans to enter the satellite-based internet service market with its “Advanced 5G Non-Terrestrial Network Satellite Base Station.” The company aims to deploy this system, called 5G.MIL, into orbit next year.
Unlike other companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and SpaceX, Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL system is specifically designed to provide secure 5G communications for military purposes. The base station will include all necessary equipment, from the radio to the core network, allowing it to function independently and bypass ground-based networks. This not only ensures enhanced security but also reduces potential latency issues.
The primary objective of Lockheed Martin’s satellite-based internet service is to offer broader coverage worldwide, eliminating dead spots that are often encountered in ground-based networks due to limitations in tower and cell site locations.
According to Joe Rickers, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for connectivity, transport, and access, 5G connectivity from space will enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control operations in austere environments, remote locations, and contested areas. The company has already developed an operational Satellite Base Station and plans to integrate it into their self-funded Tactical Satellite, which is scheduled for launch next year.
By venturing into satellite-based internet services, Lockheed Martin joins the growing list of companies exploring this emerging market. While their focus is on military applications, the underlying goal of providing enhanced connectivity remains the same. With the deployment of satellite-based technologies, improved global coverage and reduction of communication limitations will continue to drive innovation in the field of internet services.