High Speed Satellite Internet
Discover How Space Internet Could Revolutionize Your Business Connectivity
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet services promise high speed and low latency connectivity across the globe. Can they disrupt the broadband market?
Space connectivity start-ups including Starlink, OneWeb and Project Kuiper have lofty goals. Starlink however is by far setting the pace, their mission to blanket the earth with high speed and reliable broadband coverage is already well underway. Clearly this is welcome news for some less developed parts of the globe, but could it provide a boost to UK businesses operating in those areas that are hard to reach for traditional fixed or mobile broadband? Imagine having access to high-speed, reliable internet, no matter where your business is located. That's the promise of space internet.
Early iterations of this technology have been around for a few years. Still, it has only been a recent development that Starlink and other LEO satellite internet providers have become viable connectivity solutions to consumers and businesses across the UK. More than 2,200 satellites are now in orbit as part of the first-generation network of 4,400 satellites, launched by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
After launch, LEO satellites separate to form a low altitude orbit constellation above the Earth. Low orbit is the key to delivering a far better quality Internet service than traditional high altitude or geostationary services, by reducing the distance microwave radio signals need to travel. Even at near the speed of light, the round-trip distance and therefore time required to reach a satellite from Earth costs several precious milliseconds, proportional to distance travelled. Of course satellite Internet is nothing new, what makes Starlink and other LEO services different is the vast reduction in distance and therefore time and network latency gained by being much closer to Earth's surface. The distance between a LEO and GEO satellite is significant and makes a huge difference in the performance of each service.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet
LEO satellite internet is a new type of satellite internet that uses satellites orbiting much closer to the Earth than traditional GEO satellites, at a distance of around 340 miles. This closer proximity to the Earth means that LEO satellites can provide faster speeds and lower latency than GEO satellites. LEO satellites also have the potential to provide more reliable service, as they are less susceptible to interference from weather and other factors.
Traditional Geostationary (GEO) Satellite Internet
GEO satellite internet is the traditional type of satellite internet. GEO satellites orbit the Earth at a distance of 22,300 miles, which is much further away than LEO satellites. This means that GEO satellites have to travel further to send and receive signals, which results in slower speeds and higher latency. GEO satellites are also more susceptible to interference from weather and other factors, which can lead to service outages.
Is Starlink the only company offering Low Earth Orbit satellite connectivity?
Mostly but not entirely, SpaceX & Starlink are already facing some competition from OneWeb, which is partly owned by the UK government. As of May 2023, OneWeb has a reported 618 satellites in orbit, out of a planned constellation of 648 by the end of 2023. Jeff Bezos’ owned Amazon also announced Project Kuiper - a planned constellation of 3236 satellites which will use Bezos’ operated Blue Origin rockets to reach orbit, reportedly available by 2026.
How could this improve connectivity in poor infrastructure regions?
Availability of high bandwidth Internet is still a significant problem in many parts the UK, which ranks just 47th in the world for average broadband speeds. A 2020 NFU survey showed that 30% of farmers and agricultural businesses reported speeds as low as just 2 Mbps. It doesn’t get much better with just 17% reporting regular speeds of above 24 Mbps compared to over 95% of the population in more urban and suburban areas.
Starlink set expectations for speeds between 50 – 150 Mbps, which is being backed up by early implementers of the tech with strong data to validate those claims. Average downstream speeds are reported to be around the 80 Mbps range, which marks a significant improvement for those in rural and hard to reach areas.
Can LEO Satellite Internet help your business?
Don't let connectivity issues hinder your business growth. With Optimus Networks, you have a partner ready to help you explore the cutting-edge solutions that space internet offers. Whether you're in a bustling city or a remote corner of the country, we're committed to ensuring you have the high-speed, reliable internet your business needs to thrive. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let's work together to find the perfect connectivity solution for your unique needs, be it traditional high-speed broadband, 4/5G, low earth orbit satellite internet, or a hybrid network. With Optimus, you're never far from a quality connection.
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