Nippon Telegraph and Telephone: NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT agree to establish Space Compass Corporation – a new space-based integrated computer network company to help realize a sustainable society –

NTT Corporation (NTT, Chairman and CEO: Jun Sawada) and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (SKY Perfect JSAT, Representative Director, General Manager, Chairman: Eiichi Yonekura) today announced that the parties have reached an agreement and have signed a contract to establish a joint venture capital firm that will launch a new integrated space computing network to help realize a sustainable society. The joint venture will take on the challenge of building new infrastructure in space, where private sector-led companies are expected to grow in the future, and contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.

1. Why the new company was created

It is urgent to ensure the sustainability of economic and social activity. It is therefore all the more important to make efficient and full use of stratospheric and near-Earth space for ICT infrastructures. This involves the creation of ICT infrastructures that support a number of areas, including energy, environment and climate change, disaster prevention, maritime infrastructure and security. In addition, represented by the ARTEMIS program*1the public and private sectors of many countries are cooperating to extend human activities not only to near-Earth space, but also to the Moon, Mars and other bodies.
NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT have agreed to form a joint venture to expand humanity’s use of space, building on the knowledge they have acquired over many years of technology development and commercial activity as terrestrial and space infrastructure companies.
The creation of the joint venture is a tangible step towards the construction of the integrated computer network in space*3 announced in the 2021 collaboration agreement*2. By taking up the challenge of creating new infrastructures, starting with the optical and wireless communication network to be built in space and the mobile network to be built in the stratosphere, the joint venture will contribute to the development of the global space industry. and the achievement of a sustainable society.

2. Overview of the new company

Company Name

Space Compass Society

Names of representatives

Deputy Director, Co-CEO: Shigehiro Hori
Deputy Director, Co-CEO: Koichiro Matsufuji

Founding date

July 2022 (expected)

Location

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (planned)

Capital

18 billion yen*4 (foreseen)

Shareholders

NTT 50%, SKY Perfect JSAT 50%

Commercial activities

Business planning and development, and provision of services related to Spatial Data Centers, Spatial RAN, etc.

3. Activity overview (planned)

The following is a summary of the initial business activities to be undertaken by the new company.

(1) Space data center: communication and high-capacity computing infrastructure in space

In fiscal year 2024, Space Compass will launch an optical data relay service for high-speed transmission to the ground via a satellite in geostationary orbit (GEO). This will carry a large amount of various data collected in space by observation satellites. Existing services, which transmit data directly to ground stations, have communication capacity limits imposed by the use of radio waves as well as limits on the time at which ground stations can communicate with observation satellites. In contrast, optical transmission through a GEO will allow high-capacity, near real-time data transmission.

Figure 1: Optical Data Relay Service Overview

(2) Space Radio Access Network (RAN) Business: Communication Infrastructure for Beyond 5G/6G

Space Compass will use High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS)*5.6 provide low-latency communication services in Japan in fiscal year 2025. HAPS stations facilitate the extension of communication service coverage to a wider area. Therefore, it is possible to provide highly reliable communication in disasters, high capacity communication for ships and aircraft, and communication services for remote islands and remote areas. Mobile operators can improve the overall cost effectiveness and energy efficiency of their mobile networks by combining HAPS with an increase in the number of their terrestrial base stations to extend their service coverage.

Figure 2: Overview of HAPS communication services

4. The world envisaged by the company

Space Compass will launch the two activities/services mentioned above as the first step of the space integrated computing network initiative, and then gradually strengthen them. For the space data center, the company will steadily increase the number of satellites equipped with advanced computing functions to build high-capacity communication/computing processing infrastructure in space. Additionally, the company will demonstrate NTT’s high-capacity optical communication technology in space at Expo 2025 in Osaka and plans to deploy its services globally thereafter.
For space RAN, Space Compass plans to investigate providing image sensing using HAPS stations. In addition, the company will add or integrate geostationary orbit satellites and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to expand service area coverage and increase HAPS communication capacity by developing band-widening technology. of radio communications.

Concept video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDK4qjf86Wo

Figure 3: Concept of integrated computer network in space

*1Human Spaceflight Program (Lunar Landing) Funded by the United States Government

*2NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT have signed a collaboration agreement for new space ventures to create a sustainable society.
https://group.ntt/jp/newsrelease/2021/05/20/210520a.html

*3Spatial integrated computer network
A new ICT infrastructure in space that integrates HAPS, satellites in geostationary orbit and satellites in low Earth orbit, connects them to the ground using a wireless optical network and improves various forms of data processing at using distributed computing.

*4The capital at the creation of the new company will be 6 billion yen (including the capital reserve) and will be gradually increased.

*5DOCOMO and Airbus successfully conducted a radio wave propagation test from a HAPS during an 18-day flight.
https://www.docomo.ne.jp/binary/pdf/corporate/technology/rd/topics/2021/topics_211115_00.pdf

*6Airbus, NTT, DOCOMO and SKY Perfect JSAT have entered into a memorandum of understanding to study the promotion of research and development for the early practical application of HAPS.
https://group.ntt/jp/newsrelease/2022/01/17/220117a.html

Comments are closed.