SES and Kcell demonstrate cellular network connectivity for remote Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan mobile operator Kcell and satellite operator SES have successfully demonstrated satellite-enabled cellular networks in remote parts of the country.

Kcell’s terrestrial network was paired with SES’s O3b satellites operating in medium earth orbit (MEO) to establish and test connectivity for 3G and 4G applications.

The demonstration saw SES’s satellite network validated with a series of technical and end-user tests, proving its compatibility with Kcell’s network to enable low-latency and high-speed internet.

The demonstration also examined potential signal delays caused by weather conditions as well as the handover process between the O3b satellites. 

Ultimately, the test concluded that the bandwidth has been established according to Kcell’s throughput requirements at 50 Mbps for 4G application and 30 Mbps for 3G application. SES’s MEO satellite network handover performed without any delays or impact on the signal, while it was noted that latency was five times lower than on the existing geostationary platform.

Importantly for rural areas, the cellular network has been successfully leveraged for applications such as video streaming, video calling and conferencing as well as web browsing, meeting requirements for reliable use.

Sandeep Jalan, chief financial officer at SES, said: “We are extremely proud to partner for this demonstration with Kcell, a leading company that shares the same passion for connectivity as we do. This demonstration underscores what two like-minded companies can achieve together, and we are delighted to see the results proving how our medium earth orbit satellite technology can empower MNOs like Kcell to further enable and expand their network capabilities in Kazakhstan.”

Kirill Strashenko, acting chief technical officer at Kcell, said: “Having been present in Kazakhstan for 24 years providing high-quality mobile communication services to the citizens, we always look for new ways to improve our connectivity services and diversify our networks. 

“While working with SES on this demonstration, we had the pleasure to be one of the first mobile operators in the country to test their O3b satellite communications network capabilities and see the advantages.”

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