Satellite Broadband Services
- October 3, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Satellite Broadband Services
Subject : Science & technology
Context: The race for providing satellite broadband connectivity in India is heating up as companies like Jio, Oneweb, Hughes and Tata-backed Nelco are preparing to provide these services.
- Earlier last month, Hughes Communications India (HCI), a satellite internet service provider launched India’s first high throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service powered by ISRO satellites.
- It used Ku-band capacity from ISRO GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites with Hughes Jupiter Platform ground technology to deliver high-speed broadband.
- The two biggest developments in the global satellite communication space are the emergence of LEO (low-earth orbit constellations) and HTS (High Throughput Satellites Service).
- LEO satellites have been orbiting the planet since the 1990s, providing companies and individuals with various communication services
- LEO satellites are positioned around 500km-2000km from earth, compared to stationary orbit satellites which are approximately 36,000km away.
- Latency, or the time needed for data to be sent and received, is contingent on proximity.
- As LEO satellites orbit closer to the earth, they are able to provide stronger signals and faster speeds than traditional fixed-satellite systems.
- Additionally, because signals travel faster through space than through fibre-optic cables, they also have the potential to rival if not exceed existing ground-based networks.
- However, LEO satellites travel at a speed of 27,000 kph and complete a full circuit of the planet in 90-120 minutes.
- As a result, individual satellites can only make direct contact with a land transmitter for a short period of time thus requiring massive LEO satellite fleets and consequently, a significant capital investment.
- Due to these costs, of the three mediums of Internet – fibre, spectrum and satellite – the latter is the most expensive.
- Therefore, LEO satellite broadband is only preferable in areas that cannot be reached by fibre and spectrum services.
- OneWeb’s target market will therefore be rural populations and military units operating away from urban areas.
- High-throughput satellite (HTS) is a satellite connectivity that provides higher bandwidth, which increases the amount of data that can be transferred between a satellite and a ground station.
- Higher-throughput refers to higher data processing and transfer capacity than conventional satellites, when using the same amount of orbital spectrum.
- A conventional satellite connectivity has low bandwidth and high latency of connectivity – time taken to transfer data between a sender and receiver.
- The new HTS service will extend broadband connectivity to the remotest locations to boost the local economy.
- The service will support applications like Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access, managed SD-WAN solutions, backhaul to extend mobile network reach, and satellite internet for small businesses.
How satellite broadband is it different from existing broadband services?
- The main difference is that aggregation of all the data generated and transmitted by users accessing the internet happens in the sky or space that is in the satellite.
- In contrast to this, if we take a look at cellular networks, aggregation happens on the ground, in the base stations through optical fibre, cable, etc.
- Another key difference is that to access satellite services, we will need a dish antenna just like we do in the case of TV services, so a normal mobile handset cannot directly access satellite broadband.
- For a user to access satellite broadband a clear line of sight to the satellite is needed.