The utilization of communication satellites to provide internet access is Satellite Internet. Can’t connect now. I’m lost in the woods…!!
Space X is on an aim to make poor internet connectivity a thing of bygones. They have plans to connect our whole globe, all the areas.
But how’s that even possible? What are the plans? Would it be possible? Is it even required? There will be thousands of questions popping into your mind. Let’s dig deeper into our today’s topic of discussion–Starlink Satellite Internet.
Context: Why Satellite Internet networks are necessary, or why they are being developed?
Traditional Broadband Services works like this. A high cell tower with a high reach senses a signal to a lower tower with a lesser reach. Now, the devices connect to these lower range towers. So far, so good. But the farther away we are from these towers, the worse the connection develops. Telecommunication companies don’t set up their tower in remote areas due to the lack of residents there.
Similar to the third wheel of a bike, we always forget the rural population of the country. Effective internet connectivity is among one those. So, to cater to the needs of everyone, Satellite Internet networks are being developed. SpaceX aims to get higher in the sky to expand the radius and provide faster, reliable internet to everyone.
How Satellite Internet technically Different from Traditional Broadband services
Satellite Internet is a wireless network where your Internet Service Provider sends a fiber internet signal to a satellite in space. Internet signal then comes back to the ground and is captured by the satellite dish. The dish and modem together connect the device to catch the internet signal. The process reverses back to the ISP, and you get the internet.
Traditional Broadband Services are wireline networks in which you are connected to your Internet Service Provider via a complex chain of cables and towers.
Technical Challenges in Developing Satellite Internet.
1. The satellite internet can reach places that cables can’t. But since that one satellite services a large population, its data capacity is limited that limits connection speeds. And that signal has to travel a long way, creating a lot of lags.
2. Since there should be too many satellites orbiting space because it can’t stay in one spot above the Earth, there is a need for several satellites overhead at any one time to cover many users.
3. There is a concern around space debris because when you have so many satellites in the closest, tightest, densest orbits around Earth, there is a higher chance that those satellites could collide with each other or with other satellites. These crashes would create a cloud of debris that can orbit the Earth for years, decades, or even centuries.
How STARLINK is solving these challenges
1. Starlink is a global encircling network of internet-beaming satellites trying to get you online no matter where you are in the world.
2. Every satellite will connect with several others via laser beams, creating something corresponding to the network’s backbone. And to bring this internet into your home, you need to bring in large antennae. This phased array antenna can aim its beam at whatever satellite is overhead, which will maintain an internet signal in your home.
3. SpaceX satellites can automatically move out of the way to avoid collisions. Although, dozens of SpaceX satellites are already disabled and can’t move at all, posing a potential threat.
How STARLINK differs from other Satellite Internet Providers
1. The speed Starlink offers is 10-40 times faster compared to the speed traditional satellite providers offer. The average speed Starlink offers are 90mbps, and the highest it can reach is 1GBPS.
2. Compared to other satellite internet providers, Starlink is way cheaper. It is available at an approx. Price of $80/month.
3. Signal dropouts/latency in Starlink is negligible, making it highly reliable. This kind of reliability is not observed in other networks.
Benefits of Satellite Internet over Traditional Broadband.
When talking just about global internet access, we observe enormous differences from country to country? While 96% of South Koreans are continuously online, only 5% of the people in the Central African Republic consume the internet. That doesn’t sound fair, but getting our whole planet wired with cables is too complicated. There could be a solution – wireless internet from up there.
1. No matter in which region of the world you are, satellite internet will be available there. With a satellite in geostationary orbit, the signals can reach anywhere and everywhere.
2. With satellite internet, you don’t have to worry about switching on/off your internet. It is an always-on connection that allows you to pick your phone and surf.
3. As the satellite internet does not depend on cables/phone lines, it is significantly easier to use. All you need to install is a satellite dish, and you are done to gain high-speed reliable internet.
4. The speed which satellite internet can offer is just mind-blowing. SpaceX satellite internet Starlink offers an average speed of 900mbps, which is unimaginable in traditional internet networks.
Use cases – 1 Where STARLINK has an edge over Traditional Broadband providers
Extreme arctic regions, like Alaska, Nordics, and Russia, have high internet issues because of their geographic location and itty bitty number of internet users. Also, the charges are high here. Starlink is gaining an edge in these areas by providing wireless internet in these extreme locations, as setting wires and cables all around the globe is not a good option for telecommunication companies.
In an interview, Elon Musk has said he is just trying to grab a small percentage of the trillion-dollar a year telecommunications industry around the world. Sounds crazy. Isn’t it?
Our Final Thoughts
Satellite internet is a blessing for people who lives in remote areas. It offers impressive performance, pricing, and availability.
Starlink is the best satellite internet provider that has started providing faster, uninterrupted internet to every place at the bare least price range.