L’the communications industry has undergone revolutionary and unprecedented changes during this decade. Large volumes of data can be transferred in a fraction of a second, allowing millions of devices to be synchronized in real time, while the entire planet can be covered without the need for cables or wires. A satellite internet subscription is a serious alternative for all private individuals dissatisfied with their terrestrial connection.
The launch of 5G networks by several countries has sparked a race among major global companies, which are trying to provide satellite Internet services, using satellites in low Earth orbit to transfer ultra-high-speed data to users.
How does it work?
Satellite internet technology can prove to be a great alternative for those who have forgotten about 3G/4G, ADSL and fiber optics. Families, located in white areas, sometimes have this solution just to access a good internet speed. Starlink alone now claims 700,000 customers worldwide and another 700,000 on the waiting list. Three main elements are needed to set up this system: a transmitting/receiving station, a geostationary satellite and a satellite dish installed at the subscriber’s premises.
Every time you surf the Internet, your dish will send the data of your request to the satellite, located at an altitude of 36,000 km, which in turn will send it back to a transmitter / receiver station that belongs to the operator you are subscribed to. and which is connected to the Internet. Once the page is received, the station sends the data back to the satellite, up to your dish, allowing you to display the desired page. That’s a journey of about 140,000 km!
New supplier bet
The European Union launched last Thursday, a constellation of satellites that aims to provide its Internet and communications “everywhere” in its territory from 2027. The cost of the project is estimated at 6 billion euros and an agreement was reached after nine months of negotiations between the European Parliament and the member states for the allocation. This is made up of €2.4 billion from the EU budget, to which €750 million from the European Space Agency must be added.
Starlink topped the fixed broadband average in 16 European countries, according to Ookla speed test data from the second quarter of 2022. Its average download speed reached 90 Mbps, before falling to 62 Mbps, while Viasat was in second place with a download speed of 23 Mbps. HughesNet was just behind Viasat with a download speed of 22.62 Mbps. Also worth noting is the new progress of Amazon’s Project Kuiper. Although far from the stage Starlink has reached so far, the Kuiper Project is turning heads when its prototype delivered speeds of up to 400 Mbps in recent iterations. Getting closer to Earth requires sending many more spacecraft into orbit: more than 3,200 for Amazon and thousands for Starlink, of which about 1,500 are already active.
Britain’s OneWeb has launched 428 of the 648 satellites in its LEO constellation, and China plans to deploy about 13,000 “GuoWang” satellites. In Morocco, incumbent telecom operators are working to capture this new market worth $2.93 billion in 2020 and which should reach $18.59 billion by 2030. Maroc Telecom and Inwi launched in 2017 their connectivity solution satellite (VSAT). Other providers in the area are also trying to follow the trend. At last count, about 100,000 subscribers subscribed to this solution, according to C2M System. However, current offers do not exceed 30 Mb/s, the theoretical maximum.