China plans to launch 12 internet-of-things satellites next year

A carrier rocket developed by a Chinese private company successfully launches to send two satellites into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, on July 25, 2019. (Chinatopix Via AP). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, Sep 7, 2020, Xinhua. China will see intensive satellite launches for the country’s space-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) network in 2021, sources with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) said, ECNS reported.

The CASIC is scheduled to launch 12 satellites of the Xingyun project, China’s first low-Earth-orbit narrowband constellation for IoT operated by its subsidiary Xingyun Satellite Co. The company plans to send a total of 80 satellites into space to complete the three-stage network around 2023.

The first stage of the project was completed after two satellites Xingyun-2 01 and 02 entered their orbits in May this year. The satellites utilize inter-satellite laser links, which enable them to communicate over long distances and hence upgrade the real-time performance of communication services.

The second stage will see 12 satellites launched next year, further improving the project’s global service capability, said the CASIC.

The space-based IoT will have wide coverage and allow easy connection in all weathers and multiple fields. According to engineers, the Xingyun project is anticipated to solve IoT businesses’ communication blind spots born from the deficient coverage of cellular wireless communication networks.

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