Why Jio and Starlink are betting on satellite internet
What are some of the commonalities that exist between Google, Facebook, Starlink, Amazon, and Jio? From the outside, they all look like enormous technological behemoths. They all work on a variety of products, but they share a common trait in some respect or another. These companies are very interested in expanding their satellite internet access offerings.
SES, based in Luxembourg, and Jio recently formed a partnership to provide satellite broadband service across the country. Even though Starlink, Elon Musk’s company, had begun accepting reservations for this service in India. The plan had to be scrapped because the company did not have the necessary permissions.
The connectivity of high-speed internet networks around the world typically makes use of optical fiber. Around thirty percent of countries currently offer 5G service, while almost the entire world can connect to 4G networks. If these companies already have such a vast network. Why do they feel the need to provide internet access via satellite? How difficult is it to set up the satellite internet? How exactly does it operate, and who exactly is eligible to make use of this service? These inquiries will be answered in the following section.
Why is it necessary to have internet access via satellite?
Living in a large city means that optical fiber and 4G-5G service are available everywhere; however, the reality is somewhat different. As soon as you get outside of the major cities, you won’t see much optical fiber. Even if you don’t look at the numbers, there will be 1.5 lakh gram panchayats connected to an optical fiber by the year 2020.
It is the goal of the government of India’s “Digital India Mission” to bring internet access to 6.0 lakh more villages by the year 2023. If this comes to pass, then approximately 90 percent of India’s rural areas will be linked by optical fiber. This objective is not going to be easy to accomplish.
Even if for the sake of argument we agree for a second, optical fiber networks come with their own unique set of complications. From establishing the foundation to preserving the foundation. It is impossible to predict when a government agency will pull up a well-planned line and destroy it. In addition, the optimization of the equation in the region where the optical fiber is going to be laid is a difficult task. What assurances can we have that the general public will make use of the optical fiber network once we have conquered all of these challenges?
The mobile internet has some significant drawbacks. There is a degree of skepticism regarding the degree to which everyone will utilize the Internet provided by optical fiber. According to Telecom Talk, by May 2021, optical fiber connections will be available in only 1% of Indian households. Only 30 percent of that number applies globally. In this scenario, the use of satellite internet becomes an option because it is possible to provide internet service to a large area using either a balloon or a tall tower as the point of distribution.
How is this done?
To be more specific, what is a satellite? Objects travel through space and are used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring the weather and live broadcasting. The Moon is an example of a natural satellite, in addition to the artificial satellites that humans have created. In addition to that, satellite internet is utilized. No matter which Internet Service Provider (ISP) you use, the signal will first be transmitted to the satellite, and then it will be transmitted to you via the dish antenna.
Access to the internet via satellite is not a novel concept in India. For instance, Tikona provides this kind of service to its customers. This service is brought to you by means of a modem (a dish or antenna that functions as a modem), a wireless router, and a cable that descends from the ceiling to the room. When it comes to providing internet access to outlying communities and regions that are difficult to lay fiber cable, satellite internet can be a game-changer.
What is difficult about it?
Satellite internet is significantly quicker than it used to be, but it still can’t compare in speed to fiber internet. Latency is not experienced when using the standard internet, but it is noticeable when playing games with high graphics or watching videos in 4K resolution. The interval of time between when data is sent and when it is received is referred to as latency.
When you use satellite internet, the data from your device is sent first to the antenna, then to satellites in orbit, and finally to your Internet Service Provider. The upper orbit of the earth is where satellites are located; however, this distance is approximately 22,000 miles from the upper surface of the earth. Because of this process, the latency could be as high as 600 milliseconds at its worst. This is equivalent to 20-50 milliseconds when using optical fiber.
At the moment, the cost of satellite internet is generally higher than that of standard internet. There is also the problem of signal interference during times of heavy precipitation, such as rain, snow, or storms. The disruption caused by rain is referred to as “Rain Fed” in common parlance, and you may have noticed that it also occurs in DTH service. In spite of the fact that this is a problem that will persist for a considerable amount of time. There are numerous instances in which it can become burdensome for only a brief period of time.
Why are large corporations showing interest?
Internet access via satellite can definitely reach locations that are inaccessible or difficult to reach by optical fiber. Despite the lack of excitement for Google’s Project Loon and the lack of news from Facebook, a significant number of businesses are seriously working in this direction. Amazon and the team working on the Facebook Satellite Internet project are now working together to achieve the project’s objective, which is to deploy approximately 3,236 satellites by the year 2029. Jio and Starlink are also going to be there. If the technical problems can be solved, the outlook for the future is positive.
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