In May of this year, a rocket launched by SpaceX, a company founded by Ilon Mask, put in orbit a large amount of payload. It was between him and 60 satellites, which will form the basis of the Global Starlink Internet network. In the coming years, SpaceX plans to launch almost 12,000 satellites to offer broadband Internet access services worldwide. But what will happen when this program works fully?
Why do you need a global network of satellites?
According to a recent UN report, by the end of 2018, 49.2% of our planet's population still do not have broadband access to the global network. At the same time, if in Europe 80% of the population use the Internet without problems, in Africa this figure is much more modest: only 22%.
This is due to the fact that the establishment of fiber optic cables in the poor regions of our planet is not economically viable, and covering these areas with fast mobile internet requires a critical mass of paying customers, which for the aforementioned reason It is not in these regions.
Who will provide the Earth with fast Internet?
Currently, several companies are developing and implementing technologies that are likely to make a revolution in the provision of broadband access. The only question is who will be the first.
In addition to SpaceX, Amazon has announced its plans to launch more than 3,000 satellites. OneWeb, with the support of SoftBank and Richard Branson, has also begun to prepare and deploy a network of more than 600 satellites. The new satellites promise to be faster, smaller and more powerful than the previous models, offering a delay of 25-35 milliseconds. And this is comparable with some DSL cable systems.
Google offers another approach. The search giant is experimenting with balloons that work like a kind of flying cell towers. And Facebook, together with Airbus, is exploring the possibility of distributing Internet with unmanned aerial vehicles.
Why SpaceX is the first to implement a satellite network
The company Ilona Mask already has a significant advantage for the competitors and plans to put into orbit up to 800 satellites by the end of 2020. Competitors are far from these numbers. OneWeb is committed to deploying the network in 2021 and Amazon does not name any start date. Although it is difficult to imagine that the company of Jeff Bezos will lose this promising market.
How Starlink works
In general, the company Ilona Mask only modifies the existing technology. Nowadays there are several providers around the world that offer Internet access through satellite communications. For this purpose, a transceiver is used: a device to receive and add a satellite radio signal. Something like a modem, but to work with satellites. Why not use existing satellites? The fact is that they are at an altitude of about 36,000 kilometers. And for that, the radio waves have to travel a long distance, which causes delays. It adds an interference and, therefore, the connection speed is not particularly nice.
Starlink should solve this problem. The satellites will be located at a height of 335 to 1325 kilometers, which will significantly reduce delays. In addition, it is planned to deploy land stations that will transmit information to satellites using radio waves. And the satellites themselves between them will already exchange data using lasers. You can read more about how SpaceX satellites network works on our material on this subject.
Why do you need a global network of Internet satellites?
Analysts predict that in the next three or five years most of the planet will have access to a reliable and fast broadband. According to its calculations, more than three billion people will have access to products and services that were previously unavailable to them. These include educational platforms, online stores and social networks. The new public of these services will contribute to the growth of the entire global economy.
This is interesting: Starlink satellite internet may be banned in Russia.
In addition, remote regions can communicate through high quality audio and video communications, exchange messages and receive information. You can communicate securely through the Internet in areas where previously it was not available.
We can not exclude development in the field of entertainment content. The services of transmission of films, programs of television and music will receive a new public. In the end, all these services will not only receive additional funding, but they can also use these funds to develop their platforms, which will ultimately benefit everyone, including us.
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