Huawei joins China’s push to catch up with Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites
5G giant is partnering with China Unicom to shore up internet coverage from both land and space
This article originally appeared on ABACUS
For decades, most of us have been connecting to the internet via phone cables and cellular networks. But with the ascent of low Earth orbit internet satellites, it looks like one of China’s telecom giants is determined to move with the times.
China Unicom recently announced a collaboration with Huawei, finding ways to allow connected cars and smart appliances to receive internet signals from both satellites and 5G. Together, the partners want to showcase how to combine 5G and satellite signals to broadcast internet from both land and space.
Low Earth orbit internet satellites are designed to bring web services to remote areas that land-based cables or cell towers can’t cover. One of the world’s biggest players is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which plans to roll out its Starlink service in North America later this year. Recently, for the first time ever, Beijing included satellite internet as a type of “new infrastructure.” Along with 5G networks, it’s one of several areas that China’s central policymakers plan to shower with money to boost economic growth.