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Danish enterprise will ensure 5G connectivity from satellites to sea

Danish enterprise will ensure 5G connectivity from satellites to sea

In January 2023, the Danish company MiWire was pledged support from the European Space Agency (ESA) to kick-start the company's project 'SeaWire DeepSea 5G LEO' (Low Earth Orbit). The project will include rotating directional antennas that connect to both 5G land-based mobile networks and 5G LEO satellites. This will ensure the maritime sector a better and lower cost of Internet connectivity regardless of location.

The Danish company MiWire is announcing the approval of admission to European Space Agency’s (ESA) ARTES program (Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems). The “SeaWire DeepSea 5G LEO”-project is now officially supported by ESA and could end up being vital for the maritime sector, as it ensures access to the Internet with high bandwidth, wide coverage, and low latency. The goal of the project is, among other, to increase the possibility of data communication for the ship's operation, to provide better welfare for ship's crew, as well as faster access to training and e-health.

MiWire's CEO, David Fleischer says: "It is a huge vote of confidence that our project has been approved by ESA. The SeaWire DeepSea project is something we have had in the making for a long time, and we are looking forward to developing it further with our partners from e.g., DTU Space and Spacecom. We can see that the maritime industry is hungry for faster and more efficient internet connections, and with DeepSea we can ensure this over time, wherever you are.”

MiWire will ensure Internet connectivity near the coastal areas and on open sea

MiWire will further develop the company's current technology, which consists of rotating directional antennas that automatically scan the network and connect to the best 4G cell tower on land to connect to LEO satellites, which will include 5G capacity, also. The system will include two gyro-suspended directional antennas that can compensate for a ship's motion and work simultaneously to connect to the best TN (terrestrial network)/NTN (non-terrestrial network) at all times. A scanning device will constantly search for the next good 5G network, thus ensuring constant connection.

This will make the project a combined solution that can reduce the number of antennas and equipment mounted to the ship’s mast. Further, it will cost-optimize the data access by using land-based 5G mobile networks to the greatest extent possible, and only when the ship is on open sea will it be necessary to use 5G via satellite. The project will give the maritime sector the opportunity for fast data speed both in coastal areas and at sea and will also be an effective and inexpensive alternative to current VSAT technology.

David Fleischer continues: "The data subscription, which covers both the land-based and satellite-based service, will be an important part of the solution. Our current data subscription solution, GlobalWire, will be a very important piece in the overall project, and will make it easy for the ship’s owners to use our service.”

LEO-satellites will revolutionize the internet

More than a third of the world’s population is still offline today, but 5G LEO satellites has long been predicted to revolutionize the Internet. Constellations of LEO satellites will be able to remedy the digital inequality and secure internet for those who have previously been cut off. Contrary to typical satellite providers, 5G will be an open and common protocol that mobile and stationary equipment can connect to.

Global telecommunications giants can also see the benefit of LEO satellites. Both Apple and Android have currently made agreements with satellite operators to develop direct-to-smartphone products, where smartphones will be able to connect directly to the LEO satellites in the event of e.g. emergency situations.

David Fleischer says here: "We work in an industry where an incredible number of exciting things are happening right now. LEO satellites with open 5G protocol are setting a precedent of how we should be able to connect. With SeaWire DeepSea's hardware and software, we can make sure to get the most out of the capacity and make this connection with LEO satellites available to the maritime industry – simply and inexpensively.”

MiWire's current 4G terrestrial maritime solutions are today sold and distributed by FURUNO DANMARK. Learn more about MiWire's dealers here. You can read more about SeaWire here and GlobalWire here.

Read the blog post from ESA here.

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