MediaTek has powered a smartphone with a 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN) connection in a lab environment. MediaTek called the milestone a world-first, showcasing the functionality of supporting satellite communications with commercial 5G smartphone hardware. The test took place through a transfer of data to the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s next-generation NodeB test network over a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite channel emulated in collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz.

The test at MediaTek’s lab emulated a realistic LEO satellite constellation at 600 km altitude where each satellite is moving extremely fast, at nearly 27,000 km per hour, in orbit. The smartphone was powered by MediaTek’s NR NTN-enabled test chip connected to the test gNB by ITRI. The test chip was designed to meet the 3GPP Release 17 spectrum-defined functionality to simulate Doppler and timing variation effects by LEO satellite channels.

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