The internet will soon become available to everyone if Samsung’s proposal goes through. The company issued a proposal that would loan the world an extra zetabyte of bandwidth every month. The proposal describes a system requiring the deployment of 4,600 Low Earth Orbit satellites, abbreviated LEO.
The president of Samsung of R&D Farooq Khan prescribed in a proposal dubbed Mobile Internet from the Heavens,”companies should be better prepared for the presaged higher data demand in the coming years.” Experts foresee bandwidth requirements from consumers doubling up after every five years. And if Khan’s proposed ideas ultimately come to fruition, the entire world could reap the benefits, alleviating concerns over increased mobile broadband consumption. Everybody wins, at least in theory.
“Our plan will offer up to one zetabyte of capacity per month. To achieve this goal, we hope to deploy a large number of inexpensive Low Earth Orbit micro-satellites positioned about 1,500 kilometers from Earth’s surface, much lower than a typical geostationary satellite.” Khan said.
Digital Trends provides that the reason for forgoing standard geostationary satellites in favor of these smaller, close-range instruments is due to the latency produced at typical altitudes of up to 35,786km. With so much space (literally) to travel, it can take a quarter of a second for a signal to ping back and forth from the satellite. This delay is much slower than many of us are accustomed to in 2015, potentially causing even the most patient customers to lose their minds due to annoyances like interrupted Skype calls and Xbox Live disruptions.
Samsung’s proposed Space Internet system would only incur latency of about two-tenths of a second. Notably, signal propagation is about 1.4x faster in space and in the air than with fiber optics, also contributing to the decreased delay.
It’s not easy to provide coverage to the whole world unless more LEO satellites are built. Fortunately, Low Earth satellites cost less both to manufacture and deploy, making them the preferred option over their distant, more capacious counterparts. And with 5G tech on the horizon, we may see a single standard-based wireless technology allowing for satellite, cellular, and Wi-Fi connections, potentially making Samsung’s proposition even more affordable.
A number of tech companies like Google and Facebook are also having plans to provide internet access on a global level. Although, Khan proposed Low Earth Orbit satellites to enable faster speeds of up to one terabyte per second for each device, thanks to its close proximity and reliance on purposed 5G connectivity. Dish Network’s “dishNet” offers only up to 15 Mbps and caps out at 50GB worth of downloads, attached to a hefty $80 bill each month. With Samsung’s Space Internet, costs would drop significantly while allowing for even more and, not to mention, faster downloads.
Also read: New Satellite set to be launched in Africa.