OneWeb Brings Fiber-Like Internet for the Arctic in 2020

Space Daily has the details:

OneWeb, whose goal is to connect everyone everywhere, today announced the details of its Arctic high-speed, low-latency internet service. OneWeb will deliver 375 Gbps of capacity above the 60th parallel North. With service starting in 2020, there will be enough capacity to give fiber-like connectivity to hundreds of thousands of homes, planes, and boats, connecting millions across the Arctic.

The dense, flexible coverage of OneWeb’s polar-orbiting satellites coupled with its high-speed service and low latency capabilities will provide a superior connectivity experience to the 48% of the Arctic currently without broadband coverage. In fact, OneWeb most recently proved its system’s capabilities through HD video streaming tests last month with its first six satellites that showcased extreme low latencies under 40 milliseconds and high speed services.

A global network, OneWeb’s Arctic service will be deployed significantly earlier and provide 200 times more capacity than planned systems. Substantial services will start towards the end of 2020, with full 24-hour coverage being provided by early 2021, supplying unprecedented blanket coverage to every part of the Arctic Circle.

Continue reading HERE.

Good place to start, where there is no competition.

 

OneWeb Targets the Arctic for the Kickoff of Its Satellite Broadband Service in 2020

Geekwire has the details:

OneWeb says it’ll start delivering broadband internet service to the Arctic via satellite in 2020, turning the “Last Frontier” into a new frontier for data beamed from orbit.
The London-based company provided fresh details about its market rollout today, saying that it will deliver fiber-like connectivity amounting to 375 gigabits per second of data transmission capacity above the 60th parallel north by the end of next year.

That area takes in most of Alaska as well as Canada’s Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, plus parts of Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador. It also encompasses Greenland, Iceland and parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. (The Arctic Circle is a little higher up, at about 66.5 degrees north.)

Historically, the Arctic region has been underserved by broadband data access, due to the difficulty of installing fiber-optic cable. Alaska, for example, ranks No. 44 on the list of 50 states in terms of connectivity, according to BroadbandNow.

Satellite links get around many of the limitations, and the fact that OneWeb is putting its satellites in low Earth orbit will make for fast response times. In a series of HD video streaming tests, conducted in July using OneWeb’s first six satellites, latency averaged less than 40 milliseconds.

OneWeb says its ground antennas will be fully operational by January to serve the Arctic region, and it’s planning to have dozens of satellites in pole-to-pole orbits by then. With more than $3 billion in investment from the likes of Japan’s SoftBank Group and Mexico’s Grupo Salinas, the company expects to begin offering substantial services for business, telecom and governmental users toward the end of 2020. Full 24-hour coverage would be provided by early 2021, OneWeb said.

“Our constellation will offer universal high-speed Arctic coverage sooner than any other proposed system meeting the need for widespread connectivity across the Arctic,” OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel said today in a news release

Continue reading HERE.  Watch the video to see how the network is going to function.

 

Right of Way in Orbit?

SpaceX Refused To Move A Starlink Satellite At Risk Of Collision With A European Satellite

The European Space Agency (ESA) says one of its satellites was forced to avoid a satellite from SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, raising concerns about the impact of Starlink on low Earth orbit operations, after SpaceX refused to move their satellite out of the way.

At 11.02 A.M. today, Monday, September 2, ESA’s Aeolus Earth observation satellite had to use its thrusters to move itself out of a potential collision with a Starlink space internet satellite dubbed “Starlink 44”. The incident took place 320 kilometers above Earth as the two orbital paths of the two vehicles intercepted each other. Aeolus returned to its operational orbit after the maneuver.

According to Holger Krag, head of the Space Debris Office at ESA, the risk of collision between the two satellites was 1 in 1,000 – ten times higher than the threshold that requires a collision avoidance maneuver. However, despite Aeolus occupying this region of space nine months before Starlink 44, SpaceX declined to move their satellite after the two were alerted to the impact risk by the U.S. military, who monitor space traffic.

Continue reading at Forbes.com

 

OneWeb Secures Global Spectrum Further Enabling Global Connectivity Services

OneWeb, whose mission is to connect everyone everywhere, is pleased to announce it has succeeded in bringing into use its spectrum rights in the Ku- and Ka-band spectrum.

To achieve this milestone, OneWeb’s satellites have been transmitting at the designated frequencies in the correct orbit for more than 90 days, enabling OneWeb to meet the requirements to secure spectrum bands over which it has priority rights under ITU rules and regulations.

These rights will now be confirmed as the UK administration, which has filed our satellite system with the ITU, will complete the required Notification and Registration process of the company’s LEO network.

“Spectrum is a scarce resource and the ITU plays a vital role in the global management for access. The harsh reality for anyone trying to make a real impact on global connectivity is that no matter how good your network is, success is not possible without the right spectrum. With our spectrum now in use, OneWeb has proved it can bring together all the elements required – in space, on the ground, and in between – to change the face of connectivity everywhere”, said Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Vice President of Regulatory for OneWeb.

By meeting the requirements of the ITU regulations, OneWeb is well on its way to securing spectrum rights to high priority Ku-band spectrum for service links, and Ka-band for its global gateways. It will now have access to over 6 GHz of spectrum that will enable it to deliver its high-speed, low latency connectivity.

Continue reading at SpaceDaily.com

 

An Optimistic Update from Telesat

Telesat Test One

Larry Press writing at CIS 471 has the details:

Emily Jackson interviewed Dan Goldberg, Telesat President and CEO, in a recent episode of the Down to Business podcast. The interview followed the announcement that the Canadian Government would contribute $85 million (all amounts are in Canadian dollars) to support research and development in support of Telesat’s planned constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and another $600 million to subsidize Internet connectivity in rural Canada.

Goldberg pointed out that all governments subsidize rural connectivity and said the $600 million grant was expected to generate $600 million in revenue from below-market-rate sales to telephone companies and ISPs. The remaining capacity would be sold to others and he said they anticipated sales to enterprises, governments, ships, and airlines, but did not mention marketing directly to consumers.

Continue reading HERE.

 

Canada Invests $85 Million in Internet Satellites for Rural Areas

Telesat, the Canadian telecom and SpaceX internet competitor, wants to connect remote regions with its low-earth-orbit satellites. Now, it appears to have the backing of Her Majesty’s Government. The company announced today that it is partnering with the Canadian government to expand high-speed internet access to rural areas. Over the next decade, the government will contribute $600 million in Canadian dollars towards the telecom’s upcoming fleet of satellites. An additional $85 million of funding will be used to create 500 new jobs, invest in R&D and promote STEM education.

Navdeep Bains, the Canadian minister of innovation, said that high-speed internet access is not a luxury, and that Canadians should have access to it regardless of where they live. “Today’s announcements will provide us with a glimpse of what future connectivity of rural and remote communities will look like. It will also ensure that innovative Canadian companies, like Telesat and its partners, remain world leaders, creating highly skilled jobs in Canada,” said Bains in a statement.

Telesat has made steady progress in its goal of establishing a low-earth-orbit (LEO) constellation of 292 satellites, aiming to provide satellite internet service by the end of 2022. Back in January, Telesat reached a deal with Jeff Bezos’ rocket firm, Blue Origin, to deploy the satellites, and Alpabet’s Loon to provide the networking system. At present, companies like Airbus, Thales and Leonardo are vying for a contract to build Telesat’s constellation, estimated to be worth $3 billion.

Continue reading HERE at Engadget

 

Jeff Bezos Explains Amazon’s Bet on Project Kuiper Satellites

Geek Wire has the details

For the first time in public, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained the rationale for his risky Project Kuiper satellite broadband venture, during a fireside chat that was interrupted when an animal rights activist jumped on stage.

[. . .]

When Freshwater asked Bezos to name a “big bet” that Amazon has taken recently, he focused on Project Kuiper, the plan to put more than 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit for global broadband coverage. The project came to light in April, and seems likely to be based in Bellevue, Wash. Here’s how Bezos explained his bet:

“The goal here is broadband everywhere, but the very nature of [having] thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit is very different from geostationary satellites. … You have equal broadband all over the surface of Earth. Not exactly equal, it tends to be a lot more concentrated toward the poles, unfortunately.

“But you end up servicing the whole world. So it’s really good. By definition you end up accessing people who are ‘under-bandwidthed.’ Very rural areas, remote areas. And I think you can see going forward that internet, access to broadband is going to be very close to being a fundamental human need as we move forward.

“So Project Kuiper has that. It’s also a very good business for Amazon because it’s a very high-capex [capital expenditure] undertaking. It’s multiple billions of dollars of capex. … Amazon is a large enough company now that we need to do things that, if they work, can actually move the needle.”

Amazon has already turned on its global satellite control networks, mostly located at it’s Global Data Centers strategically placed around the globe. As a significant provider of cloud services, LEO satellite delivery systems makes good business sense. It is the last link to providing cloud services to every business on the planet, at a highly competitive rate, compared to competitors like Microsoft Asure, IBM Cloud and lesser-known cloud companies relying on existing fiber network infrastructure. Amazon will be able to reach more global customers faster with competitive cloud service rates. More HERE.

The top ten cloud service companies are:

Kamatera.
phoenixNAP.
Amazon Web Services.
Microsoft Azure.
Google Cloud Platform.
Adobe.
VMware.
IBM Cloud.

After Amazon, only Google has made a move toward having an LEO satellite distribution system, partnering with Telesat and adapting Project Loon to LEO applications

Loon adapting connection routing ‘network brain’ from balloons to low Earth orbit satellites

While I admire and root for SpaceX, who is building a top-down system, Amazon is taking a bottom-up approach, building on existing reliable infrastructure and capping it with a fleet of LEO satellites has a higher probability of succeeding.  The open question is can Amazon catch SpaceX and OneWeb who have birds in space.