Globalstar announced a partnership with Nokia to develop an innovative solution that allows enterprises to deploy intelligent network applications in a dedicated Long Term Evolution (LTE) spectrum band.
The solution is based on Nokia’s industrial-grade private wireless Digital Automation Cloud platform along with Globalstar’s Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) band 53 spectrum.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) sweeping steadily across the African continent highlights the increasing need for solutions that are tailored for, and compatible with, the digital transformation journey of enterprises across many vertical domains. The need for high capacity, low latency and secure connectivity that is easy to deploy in multiple sites and often across national borders, poses a real challenge. One of the key enablers is spectrum for local deployments combined with an appropriate automation platform.
“Providing private LTE/4.9G solutions to organizations and countries requires spectrum, and this is where we come in,” said L. Barbee Ponder, Globalstar general counsel and vice president of regulatory affairs. “We have globally harmonized spectrum that we utilize for our mobile satellite services (MSS), and we are currently obtaining administration-specific authorizations globally to provide terrestrial LTE services in this band, which happens to be a perfect fit for Nokia’s private LTE/4.9G offering.”
Both companies successfully collaborated on the 3GPP process to standardize this specific band of spectrum, which has been designated as band 53. The strategic alliance further expands the opportunities for both companies in terms of development, innovation and application across countries, industries and use cases. Nokia is already offering band 53 access points and user end devices (UED’s) such as modems and ruggedized handsets and tablets.
In its bid to develop a harmonized utilization of band 53 for terrestrial private LTE/4.9 GHz deployments across the African continent, Globalstar has secured rights from authorities in South Africa, Mozambique, Gabon, Botswana and Rwanda.
“In Africa alone, our terrestrial authorizations span more than 1.1 million square miles of territory, covering a population larger than 100 million people,” said Ponder. “We have obtained terrestrial LTE authority over our entire 16.5 MHz of S-band spectrum with permissible power limits for both macro and small cell deployments.”
The Globalstar MSS solutions provide complementary connectivity to end-user assets and employees when outside of the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud network in remote areas, such as mining installations or oil, gas, and energy sites. This 4IR/internet of things (IoT) partnership allows both companies to introduce powerful digitalization solutions that can be adapted for use across multiple industries to the African market. Band 53 enables the deployment of comprehensive solutions that can cover all operational requirements regardless of location.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Globalstar in order to support the digitalization of business in Africa, helping them connect more things than ever before, such as sensors, cameras, drones, tablets and phones, and apply real-time analytics to their data,” said Shkumbin Hamiti, head of ecosystem and partnerships, Nokia Digital Automation. “High-capacity data transfer and on-premise computing capabilities ensure efficient and secure digital automation for large and small enterprises, indoors and outdoors, and in both urban and remote areas.”
As the partnership evolves, Globalstar and Nokia anticipate the expansion of their commercial relationship to create new opportunities for business. As the companies continue to pursue harmonization in band 53, customers will be able to deploy a device ecosystem that operates seamlessly across locations, which will redefine the communications landscape for 4IR.
“Now that Nokia has become an authorized value-added reseller (VAR), they will be able to tailor solutions for individual customers and provide critical connectivity for assets and people when operating also outside of the secure private wireless coverage provided by Nokia,” said Ponder.
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