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Current Affairs

Internet from skies

Date: 04 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The OneWeb Company has recently launched 36 satellites to complete a constellation of 218 satellites to relay internet service to Earth.

 

Background

Providing internet service from satellites is considered to be future concept that will enable all-round access across the globe.

 

Details

The satellites will be place in low-earth orbit and will offer internet connectivity to all regions north of 50 degrees latitude under the ’Five to 50’ service.

 

OneWeb

  • OneWeb is a communication company that is planning to provide internet through satellites using a fleet of Low Earth Orbit satellites.

  • The company had declared bankruptcy but was revived after a consortium of companies lent the money for continuing its project.

  • The satellites are manufactured with help of Airbus and launched by French company Arianespace using Soyuz rockets.

 

Low Earth Orbit technology

  • The satellites will be placed around 500km-2000km from earth. Due to their position, they can provide stronger signals and faster speeds.

  • The technology requires large fleet of satellites as a single satellite cannot be stationary. Thus, the initial capital cost is very high among all three mediums of internet technology.

  • Satellite internet companies target rural populations and military units where optical fibres cannot be positioned.

 

Criticism of Low Earth Orbit technology

  • Satellites present in space can create difficulties for astronomers making important observations and studies.

  • The project can increase the amount of space junk. It may result in space accidents in future that can cause losses.