Committee warns UK set to miss 4G coverage target

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee's report on the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme reveals critical issues in meeting the UK government's 95% 4G coverage goal by December 2025.

Launched in 2020, the SRN aims to improve 4G coverage from 91.4% to 95% of the UK landmass. Despite a steady increase to 93.1%, sustaining this progress becomes increasingly challenging as the remaining areas are harder to reach.

The report highlights that three out of four mobile...

Satellite heavyweights SES and Intelsat to combine in $3.1B merger

Two of the commercial satellite industry's biggest players are joining forces to fortify their position against the onslaught of emerging low-Earth orbit broadband constellations led by SpaceX's Starlink network.

In a $3.1 billion deal announced Tuesday, Luxembourg-based SES will acquire rival operator Intelsat—creating a combined fleet of around 100 satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO).

The new behemoth born from the merger will boast more than twice the number of...

FCC denies spectrum request for Starlink’s mobile service

SpaceX's plans to expand Starlink to provide mobile services have encountered a roadblock as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed the company's application to use several spectrum bands.

Starlink – the satellite internet division of SpaceX – is seeking approval to use up to 7,500 second-generation satellites with spectrum in the 1.6 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.4 GHz bands to provide mobile services.

However, the FCC's Space Bureau ruled this week that SpaceX's...

Government programme boosts 4G coverage in rural Wales

Several rural communities in Wales are now accessing fast and reliable 4G mobile coverage thanks to the UK government's Shared Rural Network initiative to tackle poor connectivity in remote areas.

The first of 86 planned 4G mobile masts have been switched on this month in places like Pont-rhyd-y-groes, Ysbyty Ystwyth, LLanafan, Tynygraig, West Fedw and Trawsgoed in Powys County. Residents, businesses and tourists in these areas can now benefit from improved 4G coverage from all...

AST SpaceMobile attracts investments from AT&T, Google and Vodafone

AST SpaceMobile has attracted significant investments totalling $206.5 million from industry giants AT&T, Google, and Vodafone. The investment includes $155 million as a strategic infusion and an additional $51.5 million to be drawn from the company's existing senior-secured credit facility.

This latest investment round underscores confidence in AST SpaceMobile's technology and its position in the emerging space-based cellular direct-to-device market. The company aims to...

Over 330K premises benefit from UK connectivity fund in 2023

The UK has invested over half a billion pounds this year to boost connectivity for more than 330,000 premises. The announcement comes alongside a £33 million investment to connect more than 17,000 homes and businesses in rural Derbyshire to high-speed broadband.

This announcement for Derbyshire follows earlier contracts awarded in Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, New Forest, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampshire, North East Staffordshire, and Oxfordshire—bringing total investment to over...

FCC rejects Starlink’s bid for $886M in subsidies

The FCC has denied Elon Musk's Starlink a hefty $886 million subsidy from the Universal Service Fund, allocated for expanding broadband services in rural areas.

The rejected bid, originally intended for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program, faced criticism as the FCC deemed Starlink incapable of proving its ability to deliver the promised broadband service.

This decision echoes a similar move by the FCC last year, prompting an appeal from SpaceX, Musk's...

Groundbreaking trial aims to bring 5G to the Baltic Sea

LMT, in conjunction with technical port services provider LVR Fleet, has successfully completed a trial that aims to bring 5G to the Baltic Sea.

The trial – conducted on the Daugava River in Riga, Latvia – showcased seamless 5G communication from shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship. The maritime concept shows how 5G connectivity can be achieved over open waters.

The concept operates on the multi-hop principle, where the 5G network signal is relayed from one ship to...

Rural 5G deprivation hinders nearly a million Brits

A recent study commissioned by Vodafone UK and conducted by WPI Economics has shed light on a significant digital divide prevailing in Britain's most deprived communities.

Titled 'Connecting the Countryside', the report revealed a striking contrast in 5G accessibility between rural and urban areas. According to the findings, 46 percent of rural deprived areas are 5G not-spots—in stark contrast to just 2.7 percent in urban deprived communities.

The study pinpointed five...

SoftBank to distribute OneWeb’s services throughout Japan

SoftBank and OneWeb have inked a distribution partnership agreement to usher in a new era of satellite communication services throughout Japan.

OneWeb's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite-based services will be at the heart of delivering enhanced connectivity across the nation. LEO satellites, positioned closer to Earth, enable lightning-fast communication with minimal latency.

Integrating OneWeb’s cutting-edge LEO satellite services with SoftBank's closed-domain...