Connecting the world is a moral imperative, in our opinion.
Recent figures suggest that less than half the world has internet access.
Connectivity brings economic and cultural benefits.
Connectivity also empowers women and girls, who currently have less access to the internet.
Without the internet, they are kept at a disadvantage.
Disadvantage in terms of education and empowerment.
Disadvantage in terms of work opportunities.
The Traditional Problem
The traditional problem that faces telecommunications providers, is an economic one.
Installing the necessary telecommunications infrastructure, is not economic in less populated areas.
A typical cell tower, which provides the link between the mobile (cell) phone, and the network, only has a fairly short communications range.
That is why there has to be many towers, spaced fairly close together.
At the relatively high radio frequencies that are used (typically 900Mhz & 1800MHz, in UK), the range is short.
This isn’t a problem in the UK, and other areas of high population density, but is in sparsely populated areas of the world.
When a telecommunications provider installs equipment, there are a number of cost factors.
In the case of a mobile phone system, there is the cell tower, and associated infrastructure.
The Space Solution
Satellites can cover large geographic areas of the earths surface, from Space.
Traditionally however, there was a problem.
The problem is called ‘Latency‘
Latency is the delay in the signal reaching the receiver, after being transmitted.
Radio waves are travelling at 186,000 miles per second.
This sounds fast, but does mean signal delay.
For data communications over the Internet, this isn’t desirable.
Imagine trying to have a two-way live Zoom conversation, with delay in the data moving back and forth, between the participants.
The Latency issue, can be vastly improved, by having satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
This is because there is less distance for the radio waves to travel.
Solution, well Kind of
So why don’t we switch to using satellites for all of our Internet connectivity.
Capacity and Bandwidth!
LEO Satellites now provide worldwide coverage.
However they could not handle all the required data of the Internet.
That is why we need both terrestrial (earth based), and also Space based communications infrastructure.
Connecting the world, is an imperative, as recognised by International bodies, such as the ITU.