Use cases | 19 January 2024

5 Use Cases for LEO & LTE/5G Networks

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Sections of this article were originially posted on Cradlepoint’s website

Tired of the limitations of traditional broadband solutions, many businesses are seeking out more reliable and secure Internet connectivity solutions such as 5G and low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite solutions as the digital age keeps trundling along.

Despite being two totally different solutions, LEO satellites and 5G mobile connectivity can be combined to complement each other and provide truly world-beating Internet connectivity, anywhere and everywhere.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019. It is the planned successor to the 4G networks that provides widespread mobile connectivity.

Key features and improvements of 5G over 4G include:

  • Significantly higher data speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second.
  • Lower latency (<1ms), which is ideal for applications that need real-time feedback.
  • Support for a higher number of connected devices.
  • Higher bandwidth and more capacity than 4G.
  • Improved and more uniform coverage as the rollout continues.

What Are LEO Satellites?

LEO satellites are low-orbit satellite Internet solutions that require nothing but a clear view of the sky to provide connectivity anywhere in the world. This means that they’re primarily used by individuals in rural or remote locations underserved by wired lines or cell towers.

LEO satellite Internet connectivity is provided by a number of companies, most notably SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk and has more than 1.5 million subscribers.

5 Powerful Use Cases for Combining LEO And 5G Connectivity

LEO and 5G combined provide significant advantages over broadband and high-earth orbit (HEO) satellite Internet and power a wide range of use cases. These include:

1. Reliable Failover from Cellular To Satellite

Combining Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites with 5G connectivity creates a robust solution for maintaining uninterrupted internet access. In scenarios where 5G coverage is compromised or unavailable, the system can seamlessly switch to LEO satellite connectivity.

This failover mechanism is particularly vital in critical communication scenarios, such as emergency services, remote healthcare, or military operations. It ensures that there is always a backup communication channel, minimizing downtime and maintaining reliable connectivity.

2. Uphold Communications for Moving Vehicles

The integration of LEO satellite systems with 5G technology is a game-changer for maintaining consistent communication in moving vehicles. Whether it's for cars, trains, ships, or aircraft, this combined connectivity ensures uninterrupted internet access during transit.

5G provides high-speed, low-latency communication when within range, ideal for streaming, real-time navigation, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. When vehicles move out of 5G coverage, LEO satellites can take over, providing broader coverage without the significant latency issues associated with HEO satellites

3. Ensure Connectivity in Rural And Off-Grid Areas

One of the most impactful use cases for combining LEO satellites with 5G is in providing internet access to rural and remote areas. While 5G networks offer high-speed connectivity, their rollout is often limited to urban and suburban areas due to infrastructure costs.

LEO satellites can bridge this gap by covering regions where 5G infrastructure is not feasible or too costly to deploy. This combination can bring reliable, high-speed internet to rural communities, supporting various applications like telemedicine, online education, and rural business operations.

4. Keep Things Moving with Automatic Redundancy

Automatic redundancy is another significant advantage of combining LEO and 5G connectivity. In this setup, 5G networks serve as the primary connection source, offering high bandwidth and low latency for data-intensive applications.

When 5G networks experience congestion, degradation, or failure, the system automatically switches to LEO satellite connectivity. This switch can be programmed to occur seamlessly, ensuring that there is no interruption in service.

5. Recover from Unforeseen Disasters

In the wake of natural disasters or unforeseen catastrophic events, communication networks are often severely impacted. The combination of LEO satellite and 5G technologies can be instrumental in such scenarios.

While terrestrial communication infrastructure like cell towers might be damaged or inoperable, LEO satellites, orbiting outside the disaster zone, can continue to provide vital connectivity. This hybrid connectivity allows affected communities to stay informed and maintain contact with the outside world.

Safeguard Your Connectivity with Fixed Wireless Access

5G and LEO satellites can work together to form a more reliable network despite their key differences. When you work with a provider like Blue Wireless, you get the best of both worlds.

To find out more about how a combined LEO-5G solution could be the right fit for your operations, get in touch with the experts at Blue Wireless!

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At Blue Wireless, it is our mission to support global enterprises as they increasingly turn to wireless WAN for their failover or primary connectivity.

From retail pop-ups to remote power plants and maritime vessels, we will take care of the procurement, installation, data, monitoring and support across all your wireless estate (so you don't have to) - all at a fixed price, underpinned by SLAs on speed and availability across 80+ countries worldwide.

Talk to

Elvin Lim, Global Head of Product and Applications

Let's explore the opportunities of wireless connectivity for your business. Contact us to get your wireless journey started.

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