Separating Hype from Viability: The Role of LEO Satellites in Mobile Networks

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2Q 2020 | IN-5847


LEO Satellites for Backhaul


Telesat and Telefónica International Wholesale Services (TIWS) have recently completed a live in-orbit trial of a broad selection of applications on Telesat's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Phase-1 satellite.

Applications tested over Telesat LEO resulted in observed round-trip latency of 30-60 microseconds without any packet loss. Test scenarios included:

  • High definition video streaming
  • Video conferencing
  • Remote desktop connection to manage a remote device
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection
  • Bi-directional File Transfer Protocol (FTP) encrypted file transfers of 2 GB
  • Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) tunnel encryption with no reduction in the performance of the link

LEO Compared with Other Satellite Types


Latency is the main benefit that LEO satellites bring to mobile networks. Orbiting at altitudes between 400 km and 1,500 km, LEO satellites have a latency period of 20 to 60 microseconds, a much lower latency rate compared to the 140 microseconds and 280 microseconds latency rates of Medium Earth Orbit…

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