UMT looks to LEO satellites for 2022 growth

Aaron Lee, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0

LEO satellite. Credit: DIGITIMES

High-frequency microwave device maker Universal Microwave Technology (UMT) expects a ramp-up in demand for low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to drive its growth in 2022.

UMT is now Taiwan's only maker of microwave and mmWave devices to have three major US LEO satellite makers Space X, Oneweb and Amazon among its clients, and has started volume shipments to the customers, according to industry sources.

The sources said microwave and mmWave solutions for LEO satellite applications will serve as UMT's main revenue growth driver in 2022, with revenues from the segment to more than double next year.

At a recent investors conference, company president Tungyi Wu said that UMT's LEO-related shipments of microwave and mmWave communications components mainly include ground station gateways, distributed antenna systems, ortho-mode transducers (OMT) modules and satellite payload systems.

Wu said that with constant advancements in mmWave wireless transmission speed and efficiency, the proportion of mmWave backhaul networks is estimated to increase to 75% in the 5G era. He continued that driven by the ever-increasing density of 5G base stations, mmWave will replace optical fiber as a mainstream wireless transmission technology.

He also stressed LEO satellite communication solutions will significantly gain ground in the market, as fast signal transmission and low-latency traits can satisfy the needs of AI, IoT, AIoT, internet of vehicles (IoV) and other new 5G-enabled applications. In particular, he continued, strong signal coverage capability can satisfy the transmission needs in remote areas and autonomous vehicles can also rely on LEO satellites for navigation.