Omnispace Spark-2 puts global satellite mobile 5G into orbit

Completion of initial phase of space-based comms programme designed to advance delivery of the first global, mobile network with direct-to-device connectivity from satellite constellation

Omnispace and Thales Alenia Space have announced the successful launch and delivery of the Omnispace Spark-2 satellite.

The craft’s predecessor, Omnispace Spark-1, launched in April 2022, and Omnispace Spark-2, delivered into orbit by Exolaunch aboard a SpaceX Transporter mission, will now be used to advance and validate the development and implementation of the operator’s global non-terrestrial network (NTN). As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space designed and built the Omnispace Spark satellites with the help of industry partners NanoAvionics, Anywaves and Syrlinks.

The new-generation NGSO satellite constellation, in low-earth orbit (LEO), will operate in 3GPP band n256, which has been standardised for NTN operation, making direct-to-enterprise and government internet of things, as well as consumer device connectivity, possible worldwide.

The partners believe that 5G mobile connectivity from a single global network will help transform industries and serve as the communications infrastructure to support the digital economies of the 21st century.

They said the network will empower mobile network operators, their customers and partners to fuel innovation, power industries and connect billions of users, as the payload antennas will be used to enable a direct connection, no matter where in the world the user is, meeting the consortium’s commitment to enabling disruptive technologies for the benefit of all.

Thales Alenia Space, along with this incredible team of innovators, was instrumental in making Omnispace Spark possible, and we are thankful for their expertise and execution,” said Ram Viswanathan, Omnispace president and CEO. “With deployment of the Omnispace Spark programme now complete, we look forward to testing and advancing delivery of the first global, mobile network with direct-to-device connectivity from our satellites in space. Ubiquitous mobile connectivity will empower consumer, enterprise and government users worldwide – creating economic opportunity like never before.”

Hervé Derrey, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space, said: “The success of the Omnispace Spark programme is due to an impressive team effort between Thales Alenia Space and innovative startups. We’re very proud to support Omnispace in the deployment of the first global 5G network via satellite, which will open the door for new opportunities for mobile network operators, industry and end users.”

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Eric Pinson, director of space activity at Syrlinks, said his company follows the successive launches with great interest.

“For such IoT satellite service, any additional satellite placed in orbit is key to enlarge this innovative service coverage and penetration,” he said. “It’s a new step toward the final objective of having a multiple-satellite constellation.”

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