KT SAT, South Korean Telecommunications giant KT Corp.’s satellite service unit, announced plans to launch a new communications satellite, Mugunghwa 6A, into orbit by 2024 at the earliest as it aims to expand coverage and provide better 5G-based services.
According to KT, the Mugunghwa 6A would replace its predecessor Mugunghwa 6, which launched in 2010 and set to retire by 2025.
Marking its 50th anniversary, KT SAT presented its new vision on Thursday at the Geusam Satellite Center. The company said that it would begin building the satellite starting from 2021 after finishing the technical side of the project by the end of this year.
KT SAT plans to use high-throughput satellite (HTS) technology that could support large volumes of data transfer. HTS could handle ten times the throughput of existing satellites and offer flexible beam coverage.
KT explains that such high capacity and variability of Mugunghwa 6A makes the satellite suitable for accommodating rapid traffic growth caused by 5G services.
The satellite service subsidiary said that it has focused on providing relay services as a supplement to ground network communications.
Era of Private Space Business
KT SAT said it is currently developing 5G technology solutions connected with the satellite. The company added that if commercialized, the satellite would allow consumers to enjoy 5G services and content even in foreign countries.
The satellite service subsidiary aims to become a platform operator through satellite networks.
Song Kyung-min, KT SAT’s CEO, said that as content consumption on OTT platforms rapidly increased, the era of the private space business and the role of satellites have become important.
KT SAT said it would p with the European Union for a joint 5G satellite research project in the second of this year. The company hopes that the partnership would spur further development of technologies concerning 5G services and satellites.
The company plans to demonstrate 5G live streaming using a satellite at the France Open tennis games in May next year.