The new space race has begun and companies like Amazon and SpaceX are working hard to provide internet connection to even the most remote areas of the world. Just like the last space race which started with the launch of Soviet Union’s Sputnik-1 which was the first man-made satellite in the space this also involves satellites, but a lot of them.
US regulators have got applications from more than a dozen companies asking the regulators to allow them permission to operate multiple constellations of satellites in order to provide internet to people.
During a conference back in June, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon said that the goal behind all these space missions is to provide broadband.
More than 3 billion people worldwide do not have access to internet that is nearly half the world’s population. Not having access to internet is a great disadvantage as it makes a lot of normal things like access to information, job notices etc. It also limits those people from getting involved into the global economy.
Although this sounds good for now, the target audience that these plans are trying to help might not even be able to afford it due to the high cost associated with these missions. Apart from that, space junk is also a major factor in this scenario.
Only few market players like HughesNet and Viasat are present in satellite internet market and their services have a lot of shortcomings and aren’t cheap as well. The satellites have gotten smaller and a bit cheaper to make and launch for new companies and their satellites will also be closer to earth as compared to the existing satellite internet. Due to being closer, the network speed is expected to be even better and suitable for activities that require instantaneous responses like online multiplayer games.
The biggest concerns are the pricing and the problem of space junk. There has been no clarification about the pricing but it’s expected to be high. As there will be a lot of constellation, it increases chances of collision and creating a lot of space junk.