Are Satellite Internet Services the Next Big Thing?

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One of the world’s wealthiest businessmen is excited about providing satellite internet to consumers. Elon Musk has been part of this for a long time, and Jeff Bezos is about to join. Bharti Airtel has also decided to enter the market and provide satellite internet.

With so many powerful companies getting involved, we can assume that satellite internet is a big and serious business. Elon Musk has launched Musk’s Starlink, a satellite internet service. However, it is currently in beta mode and is only available to a small number of users in certain nations.

What is Satellite Internet?

A satellite internet service is a type of connection that sends an internet signal from your internet service provider (ISP) to you via satellite. It communicates with the Earth’s orbiting satellites via radio waves. To relay data, it relies on a five-part system:

  • An internet-ready device
  • A modem or router
  • A satellite dish
  • A satellite in space
  • And a ground station was known as a network operations centre (NOC)

Three satellite dishes are required for the process: one at the ISP centre, one in space, and one appended to your home. Data travels from your device to the satellite in space via your modem and dish, then back to earth to NOCs. The data is then relayed back and travels reversely through the same network until it approaches your device.

Satellite internet and satellite television function in the same way. You’ll need to contact the best satellite providers near you to install a satellite dish in your home, and the internet will connect directly from space. The good news is that there will be no need for cable services or other connections. Satellites will provide direct internet connectivity.

Components of Satellite Internet

The different components of a satellite internet are listed above. Here let’s see their independent functions.

  • Ground Station

Ground control stations send signals to satellites and organise their positions to enable optimal coverage. A strong optical fibre network links ground stations and core networks.

  • Satellite

The satellite’s purpose is to ensure continuous connectivity between the ground station and individual devices. Users establish connectivity by sending and receiving signals from devices via satellites. Early model geostationary satellites orbit the Earth at around 22000 miles above the surface.

Low-Earth orbit satellites, such as SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper, are only 300 miles above the Earth. The benefits of these new-generation satellites include lower latency and lower implementation costs.

  • Transceiver Antenna Unit

The customer will typically have an antenna (dish) unit installed on their rooftop facing the direction of the satellite’s area in that longitude/latitude. This minimal dish antenna receives satellite signals and transmits them back to the satellite.

A low noise booster will grab and strengthen the low-power transmissions from the antenna and send them via cable to the modem unit. In some versions, such as Viasat, the vital part (with an amplifier module) that transmits a signal back to the satellite is a transmit-receive integrated assembly.

  • Router and Modem

The modem decodes the signals, and the wireless router establishes a LAN connection for devices to connect to the network. Each network operator may have a unique set of modems based on the operating frequency and modulation technique employed.

Why Satellite Internet Might be the Future

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Is satellite internet a viable option?

Yes, it is a viable option for people living in rural or underpopulated areas. In fact, it’s their only option. While satellite internet is costly, it is far less expensive than laying cables to reach rural or low-population areas. As a result, such projects are developed in collaboration with governments.

The speed of satellite internet varies from 12 to 100 Mbps, which is sufficient for popular online activities such as emailing, surfing the web, and online learning. Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites can provide download speeds ranging from 50 to 150 Mbps, with the potential for gigabit speeds. However, it is important to note that satellite internet has high latency, so speeds are only sometimes what they appear to be.

Let’s analyze some cons that might make satellite internet the future:

Global high-speed connectivity

One of the most notable benefits of satellite internet to businesses is the capacity to deliver connectivity anywhere globally. It does this at speeds of several megabits over vast distances like oceans and whole continents, which can be covered quickly and easily with a single satellite. Similarly, a secure private link can connect many remote locations separated by long distances.

For companies in the offshore oil industry, it is nearly impossible to interact directly with headquarters hundreds of kilometers away. Here, satellite communication is the most effective option because it is difficult to establish a direct communication route due to the curvature of the Earth and many natural obstacles.

Access From Multiple Devices

The satellite connection can be received via various mobile and portable devices, providing high-speed access to data and voice from anywhere on the planet. It helps you carry out your routine operations, such as texts, videoconferences, and email access, among other things.

Reliability

Satellite networks are dependable, allowing continuous connectivity even when terrestrial networks fail. With built-in redundant systems and automatic backup service, companies can maintain the continuity of operations with satellite networks.

Security

Satellite networks are already private networks. The satellite can offer an extra secure network than terrestrial networks by incorporating encryption technology, making it the perfect solution for government, military, and organization VPN (virtual private network) solutions.

Other Things to Know About Satellite Internet

Here are some important facts about satellite internet that you should be aware of.

How Weather Affects Satellite Internet

Climate can affect satellite internet. It is correct that extreme weather can momentarily disrupt satellite transmission, but this is usually not a major issue. As the storm passes, storm-related hiccups, also known as “rain fade,” are regained.

In the case of severe snowfall, connections can be restored by clearing the snow surrounding the satellite dish. On the other hand, a heavy thunderstorm with downed trees can knock out cable service for days.

Satellite Internet is Costly Compared to Cable or Fiber Internet

Satellite internet is more costly than internet cable services or fiber internet. However, its monthly payments have decreased over time, making it a more economical solution. It is critical for users who have no other options for internet service providers.

Satellite Internet Has a Lower Latency

Latency is the amount of time needed for data to be sent and received. Latency in this context refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the satellite dish, to your provider’s satellite, to another satellite dish at your ISP, and back. Because satellite internet involves multiple steps, latency has long been a disadvantage. As a result, satellite internet has a higher latency than cable services and fiber internet.

Latency on cable and fiber internet varies from 20 to 50 milliseconds (ms), whilst latency on satellite internet can reach 600 ms. Satellite internet data moves a long distance because satellites are 22,000 miles above the ground.

Higher latency has the most visible effects on gaming because it requires ultra-fast responses. FPS games do not perform well with satellite internet, but some other internet activities, such as emailing, web browsing, and photo sharing, are unaffected by latency.

Conclusion

Satellite Internet is basically wireless internet delivered from satellites orbiting the Earth. It differs significantly from ground internet services such as cable or digital subscriber line (DSL), which transmit data via wires. Satellite Internet service communicates with satellites via radio waves.

It provides improved Internet access in areas where wired, fiber and cable connections are unavailable. This establishes satellites as the go-to platform for delivering broadband Internet services to rural customers in previously underserved areas.

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By Sidharth

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