Spatial Internet, a new frontier to cover isolated territories - Companies

Spatial Internet, a new frontier to cover isolated territories – Companies

The proposed merger between the French satellite operator Eutelsat and the British OneWeb illustrates the rise of high-speed space internet, intended to serve isolated regions, without fiber optic networks or mobile coverage, without going through ground infrastructure.

Who are the actors?

In this “booming” connectivity market, estimated at 16 billion dollars “by 2030” by Eutelsat in its press release on Monday, the race for the stars is on to carve out the largest share possible.

Internet by satellite already exists with historical players such as ViaSat in the United States – which has just taken over the British Inmarsat -, while in Europe, SES, Eutelsat or the Orange subsidiary Nordnet use satellite power. to provide broadband to their customers.

But tech giants are also in the running, like American billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has already deployed more than half of the 4,400 satellites in its Starlink constellation.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, plans to deploy more than 3,200 satellites for his Kuiper constellation.

China also plans to deploy no less than 13,000 “Guowang” satellites, while the European Union wants to have its own constellation of around 250 satellites from 2024 in the name of sovereignty.

What’s the point ?

Having internet access in the open sea, in the air or in the desert is now possible thanks to these new constellations.

“5G connectivity via satellites in low Earth orbit” must allow “coverage in extreme geographical areas or remote places”, for example underlined the groups Thales, Qualcomm and Ericsson in a joint press release in early July.

“The satellite network could also serve as a backup to terrestrial networks in the event of major outages or disasters,” they added.

The most striking example: the request of the Ukrainian Minister of Digital to Elon Musk to bring an internet connection to the areas hit by the assaults of the Russian army since the invasion launched at the end of February.

SpaceX had also donated 50 Starlink satellite terminals to the Tonga Islands to help them reconnect to the world after a volcano erupted in mid-January.

How it works ?

The historical services of the Internet by satellite pass through machines in geostationary orbit, at an altitude of more than 35,000 km. If they promise speeds three to five times higher than those of ADSL, this distance means that they cannot reach the performance of fiber, and are handicapped by the delay between the command and the execution of the request. .

Starlink satellites evolve in low earth orbit (OTB) around the Earth, a few hundred kilometers above sea level. © .

Amazon’s future satellites, like those already in place by Starlink, are on the other hand in low Earth orbit (OTB) around the Earth, i.e. at an altitude of a few hundred kilometers.

These satellites, smaller and “much cheaper” than traditional telecommunications satellites, allow low latency communications, that is to say with a reduced transmission delay, underlines an expert in the sector.

“It’s really a technical revolution,” he says.

The fact of being closer to the Earth, however, makes it necessary to send a lot of machines into low orbit “and very quickly” in order to be able to offer its service.

Another grievance, according to several specialists, these machines are much more vulnerable than geostationary with a shorter lifespan, as shown by the loss of several dozen Starlinks after a magnetic storm last February.

As a result, “they will have to be constantly replaced”, with the risk of also “multiplying” space debris.

In this “booming” connectivity market, estimated at 16 billion dollars “by 2030” by Eutelsat in its press release on Monday, the race for the stars is on to carve out the largest share possible. satellite already exists with historical players such as ViaSat in the United States – which has just taken over the British Inmarsat -, while in Europe, SES, Eutelsat or even the Orange subsidiary Nordnet use the power of satellite to offer high flow to their customers. But the tech giants are also in the running, like the American SpaceX of the American billionaire Elon Musk, which has already deployed more than half of the 4,400 satellites of its Starlink constellation. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, plans to deploy more than 3,200 satellites for its Kuiper constellation. China also plans to deploy no less than 13,000 “Guowang” satellites, while the European Union wants to have its own constellation of approximately 250 satellites from 2024 in the name of sovereignty. Having internet access in the open sea, in the air or in the desert is now possible thanks to these new constellations. “5G connectivity via satellites in low Earth orbit “must allow “coverage in extreme geographical areas or remote places”, for example underlined the groups Thales, Qualcomm and Ericsson in a joint press release at the beginning of July. “The satellite network could also serve as a backup solution for terrestrial networks in outages or major disasters,” they added. The most prominent example: Ukrainian Digital Minister’s request to Elon Musk to bring internet in areas hit by Russian military assaults since the invasion in late February. SpaceX had also donated 50 Starlink satellite terminals to the Tonga Islands to help them reconnect to the world after a volcano erupted mid-January. The historic Internet services via satellite pass through machines in geostationary orbit, at an altitude of more than 35,000 km. If they promise speeds three to five times higher than those of ADSL, this distance means that they cannot reach the performance of fiber, and are handicapped by the delay between the command and the execution of the request. . Amazon’s future satellites, like those already in place by Starlink, on the other hand, are in low Earth orbit (OTB) around the Earth, i.e. a few hundred kilometers above sea level. expensive” than traditional telecommunications satellites, allow low latency communications, that is to say with a reduced transmission delay, underlines an expert in the sector. “It’s really a technical revolution”, underlines it. The fact of being closer to the Earth, however, makes it necessary to send a lot of machines into low orbit “and very quickly” in order to be able to offer its service. Another complaint, according to several specialists, these machines are much more vulnerable than geostationary with a shorter lifespan, as shown by the loss of several dozen Starlinks after a magnetic storm last February. ial.

Comments

0 comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.