Low Orbit Satellite Constellations
Today, we'll be rounding off our deep dive into these exciting developments and how they could positively impact worldwide connectivity and, therefore, the potential reach and usability of your VoIP phone system.
When will you be able to take advantage?
SpaceX and OneWeb have already begun launching satellites, with OneWeb having completed its first launch of over 30 satellites in February 2019, its second last month in February 2020 and two more scheduled for the first quarter this year, whilst SpaceX aims to provide modest internet coverage with its Starlink constellation to consumers in the United States as early as Summer this year, with SpaceX currently working to get authorisation to offer the service in other countries.
Out at Sea
One of the areas that could most greatly benefit from low-orbit constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink or Amazon’s Project Kuiper is far out at sea where, currently, cruise ships and yachts struggle with connectivity, offering only slow and expensive service. Existing satellite infrastructure is capable of providing only a slow, expensive service. Typically it can cost $0.50-1.00USD per minute for use of on-board internet access. For the typical user today, the bill would likely be… large.
The cruise ship must send a signal 22,000 miles up to a satellite, then 22,000 miles back to the ship. This makes connectivity much slower and less reliable than many are now used to. Video streaming often will not work at all or will be blocked by the cruise ship to limit the load on their own overstretched infrastructure. Connectivity on a private vessel can be even more expensive, costing hundreds of US dollars per month for spotty service as well as the cost of antennas and satellite dishes to enable receiving the service in the first place.
The new low-orbit constellations should solve these cost and performance issues in the following ways:
Low orbit means a shorter distance from ground-to-satellite. This, in turn, means faster transmission to a low-orbit satellite and back than to one further out.
Satellites broadcast via radio signals (which travel at the speed of light) which will be able to travel in a straight line through the vacuum of space, unimpeded, resulting in speeds equalling, or perhaps exceeding, those of fibre-optic broadband. All this without the need to lay costly cabling to each and every street cabinet or household.
Fibre optic cabling transmits data at ‘the speed of light’ according to the marketing copy but, the truth is, the signal repeatedly refracts off of the glass housing within the cable, resulting in a longer distance travelled and transmission speeds actually 31% slower than the speed of light through a vacuum.
As for cost, it stands to reason that costs should reduce as the new technology facilitates widespread fast internet access no matter your location in the world. When it is as easy to receive high-speed internet in the middle of the ocean as it is in a capital city, costs should drop accordingly, meaning better performance than is currently possible, for cheaper than is currently offered.
With the increase in broadband connectivity coming to even remote locations, meaning you can be truly connected wherever you are, video streaming and VoIP traffic, which usually would be the first services to take a hit when connectivity suffers (though this is mitigated with use of the Yay.com VoIP app), can be of the high quality you’ve come to expect. Soon, not only will you be able to conduct business from the beach with a tourist SIM and some purchased data just as if you were at home and in the office, but you’ll be able to do the same from the deck of your favourite cruise liner or private yacht, even if you’re not in range of a coastline base station.
Once the technology is in place in your device, the Yay.com app will make use of this new and improved satellite internet connection to bring you all of the Yay platform’s powerful features like alternative caller ID, call forwarding and free calls between team members on the same account, managing your business from wherever you are at home or abroad. Ready yourself and your business for the future with the most cutting edge cloud phone system on the market with Yay.com.