The big future of satellite internet just took a promising step forward

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As companies like SpaceX and Amazon scramble the satellites to build internet constellations, an old piece of tech gets an update.

Some of the biggest companies in the world, like Amazon and SpaceX, are looking towards space for the future of the Internet. Satellite-based Internet is a nascent enterprise, but analysts believe that broadband Internet beamed to Earth from orbit could be a massive business fewer than 20 years, earning hundreds of billions of dollars.

Attention has focused on the “space” part of “space Internet,” with news stories focused on the rocket launches getting SpaceX’s Starlink satellites into space, and how Amazon plans to catch up with satellites of its own. But all of these satellites will need transceivers on Earth to send and receive data. Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Socionext Inc. have built a new one that is made to work with the next generation of Internet satellites.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX: We now want to bring Starlink internet from space to 5 million in US

The rise of Elon Musk and SpaceX

 SpaceX asks to operate 5 million end-user terminals after the US approves Amazon’s rival satellite broadband plan.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has applied for a license to roll out five million ‘UFO on a stick’ end-user terminals, after 700,000 US residents signed up to be updated about the service’s availability.

“SpaceX seeks to increase the number of fixed earth stations authorized under this blanket license from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000,” the company said in an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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Elon Musk reveals when Starlink internet service will go live

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SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service will begin private beta testing in around 3 months, with a public beta opening in around 6 months.

Elon Musk revealed this tentative timeline in a tweet after the Wednesday launch of 60 new Starlink satellites.

On Wednesday afternoon, SpaceX sent one of its Falcon 9 rockets into space. It was carrying 60 shiny new satellites that will eventually become part of the company’s Starlink communications network. SpaceX has been launching the pint-sized satellites into space for months already, with over 400 of them now in orbit around Earth.

The long-term plan is for Starlink to serve high-speed data to just about every corner of the globe, but with an estimated 40,000 satellites needed to fulfill the company’s most grand ambitions, it was unclear exactly how long it would take before the system was up and running in any capacity. Thanks to some tweets by SpaceX boss Elon Musk, now we know.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX: Now 1 million Starlink user terminals OKed for US internet service

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The Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX’s application to roll out a million user terminals in the US to connect with its growing Starlink satellite broadband network.

The approval gives SpaceX a 15-year “blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with its non-geostationary orbit satellite system”.

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SpaceX launches 60 new Starlink satellites, sticks rocket landing at sea

Watch: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 60 satellites into orbit

Following the successful launch, the rocket’s first stage gently touched down on a SpaceX drone ship landing platform.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched its fourth batch of Starlink satellites into orbit and landed a rocket landing Wednesday following days of weather delays for the mission.

A sooty Falcon 9 rocket — which made its third flight with this launch — roared to life at 9:06 a.m. ET, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida. The rocket carried 60 Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s growing constellation, the second such launch by the company this month.

Last week, strong upper level winds forced the private spaceflight company to postpone the Starlink-3 mission’s launch. SpaceX then aimed for the backup launch date of Jan. 28, but rough seas where the drone ship was waiting may have thwarted any attempt at a landing.

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‘Whoa, it worked’: Elon Musk tweets via SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites

 

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A view of SpaceX’s first 60 Starlink satellites in orbit, still in stacked configuration, with the Earth as a brilliant blue backdrop on May 23, 2019.

 But Starlink won’t be truly operational until several hundred more satellites go up.

SpaceX’s nascent internet-satellite constellation is already providing some boutique service, according to Elon Musk.

Late last night (Oct. 21), SpaceX’s billionaire founder and CEO said via Twitter that he was attempting to post something via Starlink, the orbiting network that the company began assembling this year. And 2 minutes later, he tweeted the result: “Whoa, it worked!!”

That’s quite something, considering that Starlink is just a shell of its envisioned future self. SpaceX has approval to launch about 12,000 Starlink satellites and recently applied for permission to loft up to 30,000 more. But the company has launched just 60 of the craft to date, all of which rode to orbit this past May aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

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Bezos and Musk’s satellite internet could save Americans $30B a year

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LEOs will change the game.

Consumer policy expert, BroadbandNow — Tyler has more than a decade of experience in IT and networking, and has been writing about broadband issues such as the digital divide, net neutrality, cybersecurity, and internet access since 2015.

Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for broadband internet access are beginning to display signs of real potential. Recently, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin pulled back the curtain on its space intentions by announcing Project Kuiper, a 3,236-satellite constellation. Additionally, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink recently launched a rocket containing 60 satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral.

The fight for space internet supremacy is on. Both players, alongside others like OneWeb, are spending billions in space in hopes of making further billions annually once the satellites go into service for consumers in the US and around the globe.

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FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network

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SpaceX has a green light from the FCC to launch a network of thousands of satellites blanketing the globe with broadband. And you won’t have too long to wait — on a cosmic scale, anyway. Part of the agreement is that SpaceX launch half of its proposed satellites within six years.

The approval of SpaceX’s application was not seriously in doubt after last month’s memo from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was excited at the prospect of the first U.S.-based company being authorized to launch a constellation like this.

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The new internet from space

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If they make it through regulatory approvals and meet financial projections, the new satellites will create new industries

A new era of global communications is on the launch pad. Eleven companies have applied to the Federal Communications Commission and other telecom regulators to beam broadband internet from clouds of more than 15,000 new satellites. Not since the telegraph replaced the Pony Express has communication technology seen such a leap in capacity and promise.

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