Global Internet Access Coming Soon?
The firm called OneWeb, now receiving investment capital from both QUALCOMM and Richard Branson's Virgin group, intends to launch what they referred to as a constellation of microsatellites into orbit. If you are wondering how many satellites constitute a constellation, it 648. That's a lot of little satellites.
This will be the world's largest satellite network and its sole purpose is to provide high-speed Internet access to everyone in the world. For those not in the know there are literally billions of people not currently using the Internet simply because there is no service area. Satellite Internet is often offered in rural areas but due to current satellite technology there are still uncovered swaths of land across the earth where you can get a decent Internet connection.
So what about latency you ask? Internet access will be provided by terminals that in turn connect to the satellites. This requires a ground deployment as well as a geosynchronous orbit but were talking about Richard Branson here so you can imagine he can get it done. Also these terminals will provide connectivity to their surrounding areas via Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, or LTE via a licensed mobile provider. These terminals are self-installable and have access to unlicensed wireless spectrum.
This amazing network will also provide first responder access in crisis situations, refugee camps, or any other area of need given the access capability. This type of emergency service as of yet does not exist anywhere. OneWeb claims to be designing a global communications infrastructure that will enable for the first time underserved populations access to needed resources. The sole purpose of this company is to forward global connectivity and to expand the technological reach of all people on the planet. Richard Branson says that he is excited about the bold new vision and is happy to be in early key investor.
As more than half of the world's entire population lack Internet access this type of technology to connect the world away previously unavailable. Microsatellite constellations could be the wave of the future allowing a more affordable way to the ploy communications technology for more than just Internet purposes. The self-installable terminals will expand Wi-Fi and LTE to places that may have never had access to this type of technology. If this product launch works it will be an incredible victory and one that will fundamentally shift technological advances back to the United States.