Consumer Electronics Riding on Satellite Communication Technology
The communication satellite industry chain includes upstream satellite manufacturing, satellite launch, and ground equipment; midstream satellite operations and services; providing technical and data support for downstream businesses, involving businesses in many fields, mainly including mass consumer communication services, satellite fixed communication services, and satellite Mobile communication services, etc.
From the perspective of listed companies, in the field of satellite manufacturing components, phased array T/R chip manufacturers include Chengchang Technology, SoC/FPGA and other digital processing chip manufacturers include Obit and Fudan Microelectronics; Huali Chuangtong earlier Participated in the construction of my country’s Tiantong No. 1 satellite mobile communication system, developed baseband chips suitable for my country’s Tiantong satellite communication system, and launched a variety of mobile satellite phones; Unistron is one of the leading companies in the Beidou navigation industry. The business is related to chips and other products based on high-precision satellite navigation technology.
In the field of communication satellite ground equipment, Chinese participants mainly focus on the product development and system software integration of antennas, mobile terminals, and ground receiving stations. Listed companies include China Satellite, Higer Communications, and ECCOM Ark.
How to connect a mobile phone directly to a satellite? From the perspective of technical principles, the core difference between satellite communication and cellular network communication is that it is not connected to the telecommunications network through ground base stations, but the mobile phone is directly connected to the communication satellite in the sky. enlarge.
Lin Baojun, chief designer of Beidou-3 system satellite, told Yicai.com: “The direct connection between the mobile phone and the satellite means that the mobile phone can directly receive the signal from the satellite. If the power of the satellite is very high and the energy is very strong, then the signal it sends in the sky, Phones can pick up satellite signals if they’re sensitive enough, but that’s mostly up to satellites, not cellphones.”
Lin Baojun said that the higher the satellite, the more difficult it is for the transmitted signal to be received by mobile phones. Therefore, in recent years, many companies have begun to develop and launch low-orbit satellites.
“Satellites are getting heavier and heavier, and with increased weight, they can achieve greater power and more functions, and an increase in the number of satellites can achieve wider coverage. In the future, satellites will be connected to mobile phones on airplanes and ships. Then the Internet function can also be realized.” Lin Baojun told reporters.
Subversion or hype?
Some companies envision these satellites operating in the sky like cell towers on the ground in the future, and while this is more challenging than installing towers on the ground, this approach will yield greater connectivity, providing a slew of A larger area provides network services.
In the communications satellite space, there are already numerous players in the United States, such as AST SpaceMobile and Omnispace, which have launched satellites and are in talks with operators around the world to launch services.
Lin Baojun told Yicai.com that it is of great significance to expand network services through direct connection of mobile phones to satellites, which can not only cover sparsely populated rural areas, but also increase coverage of traditionally unconnected wilderness areas such as forests, deserts, and oceans. “Generally speaking, as long as you can see the sky, you can get satellite signals.” Lin Baojun said.
Satellite coverage also enables people to call emergency services in remote areas such as national parks without having to make expensive satellite calls or by paying extra for satellite services.
According to data from Roland Berger, the global satellite communication industry’s revenue in 2018 was as high as 126.5 billion US dollars, of which about 81% came from satellite consumer communications. In satellite consumer communications, satellitetelevisionLive broadcast revenue accounted for 92%; while satellite broadband (Internet) business accounted for a smaller proportion, only 2%.
According to Morgan Stanley’s calculation of the global satellite Internet market size, by 2030, the global satellite Internet market size will reach 45.426 billion US dollars.
However, some professionals also pointed out that the so-called “direct connection of mobile phones to satellites” in the market is a “conditional” “direct connection”, which is far from being subverted. It can only be said that it is a supplement to the current cellular network. .
The person in charge of an international well-known satellite company in China told Yicai.com: “The direct connection of mobile phones to satellites will not be high-speed satellite communication, but may be a low-frequency, narrow-band solution that can be used in certain circumstances with conditions, and supports small use of data volumes.”
He said that even if the mobile phone can support the satellite communication function, it is limited to low-rate short messages, short messages and other small data transmissions. To support the bandwidth of the Internet, it is necessary to put 5G base stations in the sky. But in fact, it is still impossible to install so many base stations in the sky, and the energy power of the base stations in the sky will be limited compared to the ground. The current satellite loads are still small satellites, and it is still impossible to achieve 5G bandwidth.
The above-mentioned person also emphasized that the “direct connection” of the mobile phone refers to the connection with a specific satellite at a specific frequency, and the technology should be mixed. He said that the higher the frequency used by the satellite, the wider the supported bandwidth, but the stronger the requirements for the directionality of the device. “Therefore, the ground equipment needs to be equipped with an antenna with directional function that can track satellite signals. However, the miniaturized smartphone antenna is built-in, and it is impossible to achieve a strong directional tracking function, so the direct connection of the mobile phone to the satellite is only a matter of fact. At an early stage, most of the so-called concept stocks have hype.” The person in the satellite communications field told Yicai.com.
In addition, low-orbit satellite communication spectrum resources are also quite scarce. “Mobile phone manufacturers should cooperate with operators, because the spectrum is in the hands of operators, and the lower the frequency, the more scarce spectrum resources will be.” The above-mentioned person said.
Author / Qian Tongxin