Nokia and Globalstar to deploy digitalisation platform in Africa

goba nokiaGlobalstar, Inc, provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, has announced its partnership with Nokia

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.

Globalstar and Nokia have developed a solution to deploy intelligent network applications in a dedicated spectrum band. It is based on Nokia’s industrial-grade private wireless Digital Automation Cloud platform together with Globalstar’s 3GPP Band 53 spectrum. The solution will be showcased at the Globalstar stand at AfricaCom, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 12-14 November 2019.

“Providing private LTE/4.9G solutions to organisations and countries require spectrum, and this is where we come in,” says Barbee Ponder, Globalstar general counsel and vice-president of Regulatory Affairs. “We have a globally-harmonised spectrum that we utilise for our Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and we are currently obtaining administration-specific authorisations globally to provide terrestrial LTE services in this band – which happens to be a perfect fit for Nokia’s private LTE/4.9G offering.”

The companies collaborated on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) process to standardise this specific band of spectrum, which has been designated as Band 53. Their strategic alliance further expands the opportunities for both Globalstar and Nokia 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 (UEDs) such as modems, ruggedised handsets and tablets.

“In Africa alone, our terrestrial authorisations span more than 1.1 million square miles of territory, covering a population larger than 100 million people,” says 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 ideal 4IR/IoT partnership allows both companies to introduce powerful digitalisation solutions to the African market, which can be adapted for use across multiple industries. Band 53 enables the deployment of comprehensive solutions that can cover all operational requirements regardless of location.

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