New space race: Bringing the Internet to the most remote places (Part 1)

Corporations like Amazon and SpaceX are competing to orbit the Earth and provide the Internet to the most remote areas of the world. This is considered the space race of the 21st century.

According to USA Today, like the race to win the throne in the universe in the 20th century after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 satellite, this race is also related to satellites.

More than a dozen companies have asked US regulators to allow the exploitation of thousands of satellites providing Internet services. Not all satellites connect consumers to the Internet. Some have global ambitions. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said in a conference in June: “The goal here is to have broadband everywhere.”

When half of the world’s population (over 3 billion people) does not use the Internet, the market potential is huge. Without access to the Internet, many people in remote areas face difficulties in life: cannot apply for jobs, study, use health services or participate in the global economy.

However, the Internet wave transmitted from space encountered many obstacles. Launching satellites is expensive, technically complex, and therefore Internet service is too expensive for the affordability of the companies that companies want to serve. Cosmic waste arising is also a matter to be considered.

Some companies, such as HughesNet and Viasat, have provided satellite Internet services, but the service is expensive and limited, the quality is also flickering and does not have many users. Newer satellites are smaller, cheaper, closer to Earth, so they theoretically transmit signals faster, making applications work better.

In the race, there are big names like Amazon, SpaceX and more recently OneWeb. However, according to Kerri Cahoy, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the industry is in its infancy and will take at least three more years to provide a wide range of commercial services. Companies will have to take even more time to make money from satellite Internet.

About: Jon Little