Lockheed explores space-based 5G network with Tysons firm

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin may explore jointly developing a space-based 5G network with Tysons, Virginia-based communications provider Omnispace LLC.

The two companies have signed a strategic interest agreement to advance a satellite constellation that would serve as a global 5G network.

“We share a common vision with Omnispace of a space-based 5G global network that would enable users to seamlessly transition between satellite and terrestrial networks, eliminating the need for multiple devices on multiple networks,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s space business.

It would be developed for both commercial, defense and military users.

The partnership gives Omnispace access to Lockheed’s expertise in satellite technology and government markets.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of their partnership or a timeline for developing the space-based 5G network.

Founded in 2012, Omnispace last month raised $60 million in venture capital funding, led by Fortress Investment Group.

The two join other companies developing satellite-based wireless networks, including a partnership between Elon Musk’s SpaceX and satellite company Starlink, and satellite broadband company AST & Science.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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