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posted by chromas on Saturday March 31 2018, @04:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the ping6-from-outer-space dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

The Federal Communications Commission approved an application by Space Exploration Holdings, doing business as SpaceX, to provide broadband services using satellite technology in the United States and around the world. With this action, the Commission takes another step to increase high-speed broadband availability and competition in the United States.

This is the first approval of a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies. SpaceX proposed a satellite system comprised of 4,425 satellites and was granted authority to use frequencies in the Ka (20/30 GHz) and Ku (11/14 GHz) bands to provide global Internet connectivity.

From Techcrunch:

The company has already launched test versions of the satellites, but the full constellation will need to go out more than two at a time. SpaceX eventually plans to launch 12,000 of the things, but this authorization is for the high-altitude group of 4,425; a separate authorization is necessary for the remaining number, since they'll be operating at a different altitude and radio frequency.

-- submitted from IRC


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:04AM (3 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:04AM (#660756) Journal

    Geostationary sats [wikipedia.org] orbit at 35,786 km. The Starlink [wikipedia.org] fleet would orbit at 340 km and 1100-1200 km.

    While internet via a geostationary satellite has a latency of no less than 240 ms, the lower latency limit for Starlink orbiting at 1100 km is only 3% of that, about 7 ms.

    Now we're talking. Even less latency for the 340 km satellites.

    Funnily enough, SpaceX just launched 10 new satellites for Iridium yesterday. They have 50 total and those orbit at 670 km. Iridium has flown on Falcon 9 rockets. If SpaceX flies their own sats on cheaper, fully reusable BFRs (and no markup since they will own them) that can lift bigger payloads, Iridium will have paid many times more than what SpaceX will need to in order to establish its own sat network.

    Many may just be reading about Starlink for the first time, but SpaceX projects that it will be the dominant revenue source for the company in 10 years.

    With this recent development over here [soylentnews.org], there is a potential to put satellites in even lower orbits.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:17AM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 31 2018, @07:17AM (#660760) Journal
    Iridium has a number of years to respond to this. And they might just provide a nice stepping stone to some other business which is entering the market.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Saturday March 31 2018, @09:37PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday March 31 2018, @09:37PM (#660952) Journal

      Actually I went through the Starlink wikipedia article and it says:

      The system will not compete with Iridium satellite constellation, which is designed to link directly to handsets. Instead, it will be linked to flat user terminals the size of a pizza box, which will have phased array antennas and track the satellites. The terminals can be mounted anywhere, as long as they can see the sky.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Spamalope on Saturday March 31 2018, @10:26AM

    by Spamalope (5233) on Saturday March 31 2018, @10:26AM (#660801) Homepage

    Also interesting: Iridium launches paying for the development of reusable launch vehicles SpaceX uses to undercut them on price.