Communications facilitated by equipment that orbits around the earth.
Verizon and Amazon's Project Kuiper announced a strategic collaboration to develop connectivity solutions for unserved and underserved communities. Project Kuiper is an initiative to increase global broadband access through a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) around the planet. The system will serve individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses and other organizations operating in places where internet access is limited or unavailable.
The modern farmer operates in a business ecosystem that includes equipment manufacturers, chemical companies, food distributors, banks and insurance companies, employees, and government regulations. The success of a farming business, according to Land O'Lakes CTO Teddy Bekele, revolves around 40 “mega decisions” about what and when to plant, when and how to fertilize, feed, and harvest, and how to market and sell. These are all problems data and technology can help solve, Bekele said.
Satellite entrepreneur Charlie Ergen and computer whiz Michael Dell have a plan to open up little-used wireless frequencies to millions of customers with a new 5G service. The proposal has sparked a ruckus among billionaires. Elon Musk’s SpaceX filed an objection with the Federal Communications Commission saying the “scheme” would wreck his broadband-from-orbit service. Ergen’s Dish Network responded with an FCC filing that accused SpaceX of “flimsy” and “far-fetched” criticism.
The push to allow the 12 GHz band of spectrum to be used for 5G is taking on new significance, as broader infrastructure spending talks continue and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service prepares for a nationwide rollout. The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition, which represents more than 30 telecom companies, trade groups and public interest groups that want to open up the 12 GHz satellite airwaves for two-way 5G connections, told the FCC that it should move forward with a rulemaking to expand access to the band.
Space startup Lynk says it has successfully demonstrated the ability to use ordinary, unmodified mobile telephones to connect to satellite Internet services. The Virginia-based company sent its "Shannon" satellite into orbit as part of a rideshare mission on a Falcon 9 rocket. After some initial tests, the company said "hundreds" of mobile phones in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Bahamas were able to connect with the satellite as it passed overhead, as if it were a virtual cell phone tower in space.
It’s unlikely that Elon Musk’s Starlink, a next-generation satellite broadband service, is the silver bullet for the country’s broadband access woes.
The arrival of new space ventures like Starlink and OneWeb is bringing about a disruption of sorts in the telecommunications sector, specifically the broadband internet market. That’s because the International Telecommunication Union estimates that just over half of the world’s total population has access to the internet.
Starlink’s goal is to beam high-speed Internet from space, down to the most remote parts of the world. Even though SpaceX's satellite internet service is still being tested—with mixed reviews—the company is getting a lot of attention in Washington (DC) at a moment when the government is willing to spend taxpayer dollars on infrastructure and take chances on new broadband deployment methods.
AT&T is the latest operator to look to the sky to extend the reach of its broadband network by teaming up with OneWeb to serve enterprise and government customers in remote locations outside of its fiber footprint. John Wojewoda, AT&T AVP, stated that while it’s still early days, OneWeb’s service is expected to provide speeds of nearly 200 Mbps.