SatixFy have agreed the first sale of their Prime 1 beamformer into the terrestrial 5G market, in a significant deal with India-based Astrome. Developed with the support of the UK Space Agency via the European Space Agency’s ARTES Core Competitiveness Programme, the beamformer chip has enjoyed extensive interest in the space sector since its first sale in 2018, but this deal marks a new venture for SatixFy into the highly-competitive terrestrial 5G market.
The Prime chip is an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) with True Time Delay (TTD), which performs the signal processing and beamforming in the digital domain. The chip enables a flexible and scalable flat-panel antenna architecture, achieving extremely small size, low power consumption and low-cost, compared to other techniques. Antenna products based on the Prime chip will support a wide range of applications, including SATCOM (GEO, LEO and MEO) and 5G.
The signing of the MoU with Astrome is a significant development for the UK-based satellite technology company and comes after SatixFy, together with OneWeb and the European Space Agency, successfully demonstrated the first 5G full end-to-end link through a Low Earth Orbit satellite constellation at ESA’s 5G hub in Harwell, Oxfordshire in June 2022.
Experts estimate that the global 5G wireless backhaul market will be worth $15.5 billion by 2026, with the microwave segment having the largest market share during this period. Astrome’s E-band Gigamesh 2.0 product, powered by SatixFy’s chips, will offer the only point-to-multi-point 5G backhaul capability for terrestrial 5G in the world, creating a significant time-to market advantage over competitors. The partnership with Astrome will provide direct access to the Indian market and sales are expected to exceed 100,000 units per year by 2025.
Ido Gur, CEO of SatixFy said, “The 5G backhaul market is rapidly growing and represents a significant growth opportunity for us. SatixFy, to date, has focused predominantly on satellite ground and space segment products and the terrestrial 5G wireless backhaul market strongly expands our total addressable markets. This new collaboration demonstrates a real appetite for SatixFy’s digital beamforming chips in this new market for us. Furthermore, we are proud that Astrome will be leveraging our competitive edge with our point-to-multi-point capabilities and bringing them a significant time-to-market advantage over legacy 5G backhaul competitors.”
Neha Satak, CEO, Astrome said, “We are excited about our partnership with SatixFy. The Prime1 beamformer chip developed by SatixFy will provide a significant time to market advantage to Astrome’s existing GigaMesh product line. Our innovative technology is generations ahead of the existing millimeter wave products available in the market. It deploys our patented multi-beam technology combined with powerful proprietary algorithms to make cost-effective high-speed wireless backhaul solutions a reality.”
Speaking in response to the news of the deal, Fabrizio De Paolis, 5G/6G Implementation Manager at the European Space Agency, and Prime 1 Technical Officer, said “This technology spin-out from the space industry is an excellent example of how the ESA ARTES programme can support industry’s success, not only in the space sector, but also in the highly competitive terrestrial market. We are pleased that SatixFy is becoming a respected player also in the large 5G backhaul market.”
Harshbir Sangha, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency, added “This opportunity to contribute to a world-first in 5G-connectivity is a major milestone for SatixFy and the UK space sector. The Prime 1 beamformer chip, developed with UK Space Agency support, is central to Astrome’s innovative solution to providing terrestrial 5G connectivity from remote areas.”