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du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), and SES have announced that they successfully demonstrated the first satellite-enabled 5G backhaul in the Middle East utilizing SES’s Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites.

The aim of the live demonstration was to demonstrate how SES’s current O3b constellation could extend 5G coverage to remote locations and support du’s enterprise customers, including offshore energy sites, with highly reliable, high throughput and low latency network connectivity.

The live Proof of Concept (POC) saw numerous tests conducted over SES’s O3b satellite, including voice and data scenarios to measure the quality of service performance and stress test load capacity. The low latency and high throughput 5G backhaul link showed that O3b is an ideal solution for 5G satellite-enabled networks with Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with terrestrial backhauling technologies.

“du has vast experience using satellites for its own cellular backhaul as well as for delivering satellite-enabled data communications services to our enterprise customers, but we need much better throughputs and low-latency performance to support our enterprise, cloud and data growth applications. O3b mPOWER promises to provide the dedicated multi-gigabit per connection scale with cloud-optimized and low-latency performance to provide the required Quality of Experience (QoE) with the flexibility of satellite,” said Saleem AlBlooshi, chief technology officer, du.

John-Paul Hemingway, chief strategy & product officer of SES, added, “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with du on this demonstration of high-performance MEO services and how we can jointly deploy the Middle East’s first satellite-enabled 5G backhaul network. du can leverage more guaranteed-SLA bandwidth, with greater flexibility, via O3b mPOWER to rapidly generate new revenue streams by expanding high-quality 4G/5G to remote areas and by cost-effectively connecting its enterprise customers.” 

SES has already started deploying O3b mPOWER technology, which will enable high-performance services with superior throughput, predictable low latency and unmatched flexibility to meet traffic demand. The start of service for O3b mPOWER, expected in 2023, will enable du and its customers to experience secure, carrier-grade performance supporting business-critical, cloud-based applications over the public internet or via a dedicated, private connection.

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