Bharti Airtel, Softbank trial low-cost 3G using satellite

30 Aug 2013

India’s Bharti Airtel and Japan-based telecoms giant Softbank have successfully concluded field trials of the delivery of 3G services using satellite transmission links, International Business Times reports. According to the article, although 3G connections already use satellites, they also rely heavily on base transceiver stations (BTS), which limits the usage to areas with available infrastructure. Expensive subscription fees are another major barrier for the development of communications networks using satellite transmission lines. However, the new technology, validated through a field trial in Kenya, achieved both high speeds and low costs through the dynamic allocation of satellite spectrum for each base station depending on its respective traffic volume. Bayan Monadjem, Bharti Airtel Africa’s chief technical officer, said: ‘This technology is critically important to the development of mobile phone networks in rural areas in Africa and other areas where commercialisation of such operations is challenging.’