du and SES demo satellite-enabled 5G backhaul in the Middle East

SES and du from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), a telecom operator in the UAE, have successfully demonstrated the first satellite-enabled 5G backhaul in the Middle East utilising SES’s Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, the two firms announced.

What was the aim of the demonstration?

The aim of the live demonstration was to show how SES’s 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 tests conducted over an SES’s O3b satellite, including voice and data scenarios to measure service performance and stress test load capacity. The low latency and high throughput 5G backhaul link showed O3b is ideal for 5G satellite-enabled networks with Quality of Experience (QoE) at par with terrestrial backhauling technologies.

What does the partnership mean for du and SES?

“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,” said Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer at du.

Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer at du

“O3b mPOWER will provide the multi-gigabit per connection scale with cloud-optimised and low-latency performance to provide the required QoE with the flexibility of satellite.”

John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy & Product Officer of SES, said, “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,” said John-Paul Hemingway.

SES has 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.