First 5G mobile satellite network for IoT to be deployed in the US and North America

(Image credit: Ligado)

Ligado Networks has announced its plan to deploy the first 5G mobile satellite network for the Internet of Things (IoT). The mobile communications company will partner with Mavenir to develop base stations for advanced connectivity services that enable business-critical operations anywhere in the United States and North America.

The new 5G satellite IoT network will support tens of millions of mobile devices powering critical machine-to-machine communications for businesses requiring ubiquitous, continental coverage. Ligado has unveiled plans to launch service trials in 2022, providing standalone satellite or multi-layer connections to enterprise customers in the transportation, agriculture, utilities, and energy sectors.

“5G satellite IoT network a pivotal tool to ensure always-on connectivity.”

Doug Smith, Ligado.

“We are deeply committed to supporting critical infrastructure enterprises as they modernise their operations for a 21st Century economy,” said Ligado Chief Executive Officer Doug Smith. “Ubiquitous network coverage and reliability are especially essential for critical device communications, which makes our 5G satellite IoT network a pivotal tool to ensure always-on connectivity and data management for an enterprise’s entire fleet of devices,” he continued. 

Mobile satellite and terrestrial connectivity

The new satellite network will add extended coverage and network redundancy to the company’s planned 5G mobile private network solution. Additionally, It will add to the capabilities of other terrestrial wireless operators by making use of mainstream, low-cost chipsets and devices that can support both mobile satellite and terrestrial connectivity.

“A phase of innovation in cellular service delivery via non-terrestrial networks.”

Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir.

Ligado has revealed it plans to adapt 3GPP standards-based technology for mobile satellite use, which will enable the network to support devices using mainstream, low-cost chipsets that can also operate on terrestrial IoT networks. With the 22-meter reflector-based antenna of Ligado’s SkyTerra 1 satellite, the network will also support the small, low-cost IoT devices being used for innovative applications like vehicle diagnostics, environmental monitoring, first-responder connectivity, and smart metering.

ORAN-based 5G base station

Mavenir’s complete portfolio of 5G technology cloud native solutions provides mobile core, IoT, and Open vRAN for 5G. “We are excited to work with Ligado on ORAN-based 5G base station development. With this engagement, Mavenir and the ORAN ecosystem not only strengthen their place in enterprise deployments but also enter a phase of innovation in cellular service delivery via non-terrestrial networks,” said Pardeep Kohli, president and CEO of Mavenir. “We are looking forward to expanding our Open RAN product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks and their co-existence in the future,” continued Kohli. 

“Unlocks a highly compelling market by bringing mainstream IoT devices to a continental satellite footprint.”

Maqbool Aliani, Ligado.

“We’re delighted to apply Mavenir’s unmatched 5G network technology prowess to deliver 3GPP-based IoT services via the crucial mobile satellite network layer,” said Ligado Chief Technology Officer Maqbool Aliani. “Ligado’s uniquely capable North American satellite network unlocks a highly compelling market by bringing mainstream IoT devices to a continental satellite footprint,” he concluded. 

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at