Countries and companies around the world are turning to internet satellite, which is believed to be far better and more reliable than the traditional land line. Unlike the traditional line, internet satellite is using terrestrial signals that are beamed and delivered without obstructions to the receiving tower. Because of the minimal obstructions and hindrance along the way, internet satellite is claimed as the new and modern way to enjoy broadband connections.
Hughes – through the official office of Hughes Network Systems, LCC – which is one of the world’s leaders when it comes to internet satellite service, claims that their Malaysian’s headquarter has bought a special HX internet satellite system. Their office, IPSAT Sdn Bhd, has bought the system that consists of remote terminals and a hub. So far, the hub is still in monitoring and testing stage in Malaysia, but everything should be finished around June 2015, so they can operate it soon enough.
IPSAT alone is a well known Malaysian’s internet service provider that is specializing and focusing on Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) system through the C and Ku band satellites. They have very wide and expanded target markets with various services – starting from managed networking system to high speed (and unobstructed) internet access. The company is hoping that they can provide better and more flawless service with the new communication satellite. If everything runs smoothly and they can pass through the initial testing stage, they should be able to deliver more reliable and expansive service to their existing subscribers; as well as their new customers.
The Privasia Technology Bhd CEO, Puvanesan Subenthiran, says that they have made the right decision to choose Hughes as their supplier. They believe that their new and sophisticated HX satellite terminals and hub will allow them to do much more. So far, the new hub has been able o support their existing service and customers with the C and Ku band capacity. And because of the reliable connectivity, the company is able to design the best network configuration as well as come up with the right packaging service, so they should be able to create the packages suitable for their customers’ needs – on personal and corporate requirements.
Meanwhile, Hughes through their executive International Divisions vice president, Bahram Pourmand, states that their company has been running for quite some time in Pacific and Asian region, and having IPSAT added into their customers’ list is an achievement. It is hoped that their business can expand to other countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Everyone seems to be in a race to provide reliable, fast, and more affordable broadband connection through satellite, which is claimed to deliver more promising result when compared to the traditional land line. The main issue with land line is the installation, which can be extremely costly when implemented in rough and difficult terrains. Not to mention the obstructions and possible catastrophe (earthquake, landslide, etc) that may affect the function and performance of the line itself.
Unlike the traditional land line, internet satellite is basically obstruction-free. There is no need to worry about tricky or difficult installation, and the possibility of obstructions happening to land line is very small and limited. Yes, such service is costly, but it is actually not as expensive as people think – the land line can cost more when installed in difficult areas.
That’s why a specialist ISP (Internet Service Provider), Satellite Internet, is focusing on providing network connection through hassle-free satellite. It even provides attractive offer where new subscribers can get free equipment when they apply for the provider’s service. This is an offer that is hard to miss because initial equipment installation can be pretty expensive – although subscribers can get more perks and benefits. So far, the offer is available throughout Wales and England, where subscribers can enjoy high speed download – which can reach 20Mbps per minute. They won’t have to worry about their location, because it is guaranteed that the internet signal will remain flawless and uninterrupted, no matter how far or how remote they are. Thanks to the Newtec equipment (Newtec is the satellite communication specialist) and SES satellite operator, the operation will be smooth, fast, and reliable.
Subscribers in Wales, England, Scottish Borders, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, can enjoy fast internet service with more affordable fee. It is claimed that they can even save up to £229, when compared to the regular sign up and installation fee. They can simply choose different packages – starting from 20GB data with at least £40 package fee – and they won’t have to worry about their internet connection anymore. They simply subscribe for 12 months service and they are good to go!
The provider’s managing director, Mike Locke, says that satellite broadband is designed and targeted for people in remote and difficult areas. Even in today’s digital and modern world, there are some people who can’t enjoy reliable internet connection because of the difficult terrains. Internet satellite is aimed to help those people, and obstructions are guaranteed to be as minimal as possible.
The idea for internet satellite is appealing, and some of the best scientists in the world have been putting some serious thoughts to that idea. Some of the world’s leading companies in the world have also thought about developing their own satellite – whether to provide better access and faster internet connection to poorer regions or to expand their market and gain bigger profits.
The PayPal co-founder, Elon Musk, who is now focusing on SpaceX and Tesla projects, also has the same idea as Facebook about having internet satellite. He always comes up with radical ideas, which may work on future setting and usages. He has been thinking about having internet satellite that can provide better, faster, more reliable, and more affordable internet access. His focus is on difficult areas where the traditional land line is impossible to make. He wants to make sure that he can provide flawless and reliable internet connection to regions that don’t have internet connection. That’s why his SpaceX project has this ambitious purpose where they will launch several satellites in several stages. For the beginning, they will launch two satellites first, and then they will progress until it reaches total eight satellites. Each of them is expected to last within a year.
The project is undoubtedly costly, expected to reach $10 billion in total. But Elon Musk seems to be quite optimistic about the success of this project, considering that it should be important for future usage and technological development. So far, the project SpaceX has managed to get $1 billion from Google – they have the similar ambitious project as Facebook concerning internet satellite – and it seems that Google has put their trust and faith in SpaceX to deliver better and faster network connection to the world.
If everything goes as planned and nothing wrong happens along the way, the first two satellites should be launched from California’s Coast, Vandenberg Air Force Base – not the Florida’s Cape Canaveral. This information has been mentioned within the application of the orbital parameters. The initial satellites should provide connections to three different locations of Redmond in Washington, Fremont in California, and Hawthorne in California. If the test is proven to be successful, more satellites will be launched to provide more connections – hopefully to more remote areas in the world.
Although Google has invested their money in SpaceX project, they still have another project of Project Loon, involving internet balloons. Facebook is even considering internet drones, but hasn’t sending anything to the space yet,
Everyone and every country in the world seem to be focusing on the idea of internet satellite, where they no longer depend on the traditional land line anymore. It is a good idea, naturally, but it is also costly – not to mention that the initial attempts for such project is generally quite tiring and energy-draining. But some people consider it a worthy effort, so they continue with the project, no matter what.
India is developing internet satellite for improved communication and entertainment. The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) is working on a project where they are building a 4000kg satellite at its SAC (Space Applications Center) location in Ahmedabad. With the satellite, they no longer need cable wires anymore, so Indian residents can enjoy faster and more reliable TV programs through high speed wireless feature. The GSAT-11 satellite is used for various purposes; aside from TV connections, it is also used for entertainment and internet service. SAC director, Tapan Misra, claims that the satellite is able to send 10GB of data per second as well as being equivalent to around 150 transponders. He is optimistic that the satellite will bring significant changes to the entertainment and communication systems in India.
The process for developing GSAT-11 satellite has gone through a long path, starting from 2009. Indian government has approved the plan at that year, and it takes several years to come to the development stage. The satellite’s mission is expected to last for 15 years, able to connect villages and also towns with high speed and more reliable connection. It is planned that they will launch the satellite next year, so data transmission should be effective immediately. The satellite will deliver data to Wifi towers (placed locally), which will then send signals to special instruments installed at users’ houses, connected directly to the TV.
Meanwhile, SAC has finished the baseline review to study the global environment changes and the possible dangers. As a part of NISAR mission, a project where ISRO and NASA are working together, they have their own responsibilities and tasks. The SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) consists of two parts, the S and L band. SAC is responsible for the S band, and NASA is responsible for the L band. This project aims at the changes in remote sensing. It can be used for measuring and observing surface deformation that are caused by landslides, volcanoes, and so many more.
The traditional line network connection has its own flaw: it can’t reach into rural areas, or areas with rough terrain. This is one of the main reasons why internet provider is turning to satellite broadband, because it provides internet guarantee that people can still be connected to the net despite of their rough and difficult terrain.
As the name suggests, the satellite broadband is using a special satellite dish, providing better and improved access – not to mention improved and more affordable connection speed. Unlike the traditional line that meets obstructions and barriers, internet satellite has very little obstructions. In fact, download speeds with this kind of satellite can reach 20MB per second. This is one of the many reasons why people who live in smaller towns or even farms turn to satellite internet because they can’t really rely on fixed line service.
Such internet satellite connection is perfect for countries with challenging and difficult geographies, like Indonesia. Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands, so depending on traditional line is no longer a viable option. Moreover, the population in such difficult areas is thin and widely spread, with very low electricity consumption. That’s why satellite broadband is considered ideal to provide easy and affordable access to these areas.
BigNet, one of the internet providers, has announced that it has reached an agreement and sealed the deal with Kacific Broadband Satellites, a provider from Singapore, to provide internet service with satellite option in 2017. It is quite a serious deal, reading $78 million worth. Kacific CEO, Christian Patouraux, claims that fiber optics is now considered the best option, but with difficult terrains and such wide territory, using internet service depending on fiber optics alone will be impossible. In fact, the cost for such installation will be more expensive.
BigNet and Kacific are focusing on rural areas, although big cities like Surabaya or Jakarta will still be considered. But they are focusing on rural areas because they want to provide longer and better connection with $10 worth of service on monthly basis. It is high time that even the remote areas can enjoy high quality internet connection and service.
Despite the good plan, there are still some flaws to this plan. For instance, the users will have to use a special antenna that weighs around 10kg (no longer a dish) and they have to pay for $350 for the initial installation cost. Latency is another obstacle that may occur with such connection. But Patoraux is optimistic that this internet satellite will be the best solution for better and faster internet service for countries with difficult areas.
Since the secret plan of Facebook and Google in building a satellite for poor regions and countries has been known by public, people start talking about how to provide better and more affordable internet connections for the developing areas – especially regions like Africa. Building a satellite is undoubtedly expensive; that’s why there are some alternatives that are more affordable – although they remain costly in the making process.
Internet drones, for example, have been considered as the best alternatives to provide accessible and affordable internet connections throughout the world. After ditching their plan for the satellite, Facebook is said to consider having the drones. You are probably more aware of the drones as the toy-like equipments or gadgets, but Facebook claims that the drones they are considering about are far from that image. The drones will be big – around 747’s size – and they can fly for long period of time without stopping.
It seems that Facebook is in the middle of the test period since the Facebook’s Connectivity Lab engineering director, Yael Maguire, says that the company should be testing the drones within US area this year. However, they are also hoping to do the test in other countries. That’s why, Facebook bought Ascenta last year. Ascent is a British firm having the longest solar powered drone flying record. Internet connectivity should be able to achieve within three years – five years in max.
Just as expected, Google – one of the heavy competitor for Facebook – is also looking at the drones plan. After the Elon Musk investment, Google purchased Titan Aerospace, the company making the solar powered drones. With 50m wingspan and the ability of flying within 65000ft altitude, the unmanned device has the capability to deliver around 1Gbit/second.
Another alternative is the broadband balloon, where Google has invested their money, time, and energy for Project Loon. It is basically similar to weather balloons that provide internet connections. The 15 meters polyethylene balloons will be sent to space, where the follow the movement of the wind (up and down) while delivering LTE signals for the users.
Rumor has it that the project was first tested in 2013, and they have managed going through successful trials in Brazil and California. Although some people are pessimistic that the project will be successful (aside from the success during the trial period), Mike Cassidy, director of Google X project claims that they are sure that the project will have more than 50% possibility of success.
The development of technology has reached its point where things that were considered impossible are now made possible and real. Elon Musk is competing against Richard Branson in building internet system that can provide better, faster, and more affordable access. Elon Musk, who is responsible in creating electric rides Tesla and SpaceX mastermind, has to compete against Richard Branson from Virgin Media.
A decade ago, this kind of ideas was considered impossible and crazy, but with Facebook and Google competing against each other in internet satellite project (which was ditched and canceled) and now internet drones investment, improving the performance of satellite internet seems quite logical and reasonable. Yes, such satellite internet has already existed, but Musk has different system in mind. He wants to use micro satellites (thousands of them) with the amount of ten times of Iridium’s network, which is currently the biggest one in the world.
Making the plan comes true isn’t an easy task as each of the satellite weights 113 kilograms (although the weigh is half the standard satellite being used), orbiting at the height of 35,000 kilometers. The plan is to launch the satellite low, around 750km from the earth’s surface, in order to improve latency, which will improve the connection.
Branson, on the other hand, has other idea. For him, the space is already cramped enough and there won’t be enough for other satellites. He thinks that it would be better for them to work together because they will have better chances than working separately.
The projects alone aren’t the cheap ones. Musk predicts that his project will cost around $10 billion, with him already winning $1 billion from fidelity and Google investment. The project takes around 5 years to complete, but it doesn’t stop all the involved parties to join in the “spending money spree”. However, Musk believes that everything will pay off in the end, as the new projects can provide networking solutions – and certainly profitable outcome in the future. After all, the balloon and drones connection, as well as the new type of satellite, is expected to deliver internet connections to 3 billion of people who haven’t enjoyed the internet access in the world.
Ian Fogg, analyst at HIS iSuppli, thinks that this is a natural phenomenon in today’s world. Internet access and connection have become important things for people, just like water or food. Everyone needs it; whether it is people in America or people in poorer regions like Africa.
Earlier, Facebook has developed a rather ambitious yet secretive (or supposed to be so) plan to provide better internet access and connection to developing and poor regions around the world – including Africa – through its own satellite. They probably have thought that their plan is confidential, but apparently, Google has the same idea and plan.
You probably think that Facebook is doing a good deed, thinking about the people living in poor areas where internet access is hard to achieve. But you should put that thought in hold, because aside from the social factor, Facebook also has business plan in mind: they want to increase profit chances and access – you should see it from business point of view.
Nevertheless, it seems that Facebook has ditched the plan, mainly because of the financial reason. They probably have never thought that the project will cost a lot as they have preparing $500 million for it. It turns out that the project costs around $1 billion, which is a kind of deal breaker for the company. After a long pondering and discussion between the boards, they decide to cancel the whole project and find ‘more affordable’ solutions. It is a good thing that there are some alternatives involving satellite drones, air balloons, and even laser. It is reported that Facebook has been testing some of the alternatives, so we should hear about the existence of cheap internet connection soon enough. It is quite sad, though, that Facebook’s plan has to stop before it even begins.
Facebook attempts include internet.org, where companies can provide data cost subsidy in certain countries. The attempt to make the satellite is included within internet.org’s initial plan. However, Facebook claims that not all of their attempts are related to internet.org, as some of their projects are separated from the group. Facebook Lite, for instance, which is a very light Android app, was released by Facebook, completely separated from internet.org and has no relation to the group. The app is designed and meant to provide better and easier social network access for users with low and difficult bandwidth connection.
Aside from the facts that Facebook has to deal with challenges, they still have to deal with competitors as well. Google, one of the company’s main competitors, is reported to develop the same idea and plan in relation to provide easier and cheaper access to poor regions in the world. They had the same plan with internet satellite, but had to postpone the idea and turn to internet air balloon, instead.