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When satellite internet does come, how will it affect you?

YH 2021-02-26 11:28:19

The Starlink satellite Internet service, which has been questioned since 2015, has been providing trial services for some mid-to-high latitude regions since the end of last year. At present, Starlink is increasing the number of networked satellites in space at an average of two batches per month, with a frequency of 60 satellites in each batch. In the end, it will rely on a total of 42,000 satellites to provide Internet services around the world.

当卫星互联网真的来到 对你有什么影响?

Satellites that provide Internet services (Image source: Starlink)

Now users can log on to the Starlink official website and apply for a satellite Internet trial kit, which requires a $100 equipment fee. The package contains a satellite receiver and a dedicated router, and the user can complete the installation within a few minutes, which is very convenient. According to users who are currently using it to access the Internet, the average downlink rate is between 100 and 130 Mbps, and the delay is about 40 ms, which is equivalent to the level of household 100M fixed-line broadband.

当卫星互联网真的来到 对你有什么影响?
Satellite signal receiving device (picture source: Starlink)

How does satellite internet work?

Starlink hopes that through the 42,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit in space, people in remote areas and densely populated areas no longer rely on ground optical fibers, base stations, and operators to access the Internet. Musk believes that the network infrastructure will be set in low-Earth orbit in the future. These 42,000 satellites will orbit 750 miles from the earth, which is much closer to the ground than traditional communication satellites. Shorter distance electromagnetic signal transmission helps to increase network transmission speed.

当卫星互联网真的来到 对你有什么影响?
Surround the earth (picture source: Starlink)

Moreover, network data no longer needs to pass through routing and base stations on the ground, and only need to be transmitted through satellites as a relay station. Since the transmission speed of light in vacuum is 40% faster than that of traditional optical fiber, this greatly increases the network speed. Of course, only providing global network coverage for the earth does not satisfy Musk's ambitions. All this is just for the preliminary exploration of setting up a network on Mars in the future. Don't forget that the ultimate goal of "Iron Man" is to emigrate to Mars.

Why do we need satellite internet?

According to statistics from the United Nations, there are still 3 billion people in the world who have no Internet connection or high-speed Internet access. Most of these people are in poor areas, young and old, and currently not reached by mobile base stations. This creates a huge global digital gap between mainstream people and them. It is precisely because of this that manufacturers such as SpaceX hope to bring high-speed broadband to people in remote and backward areas through satellite Internet. People in remote areas don't have to wait for operators to build broadband and receive satellite Internet directly through base stations. Allowing these 3 billion people to access the Internet will bring a large number of users to major Internet companies, thereby improving their performance.

当卫星互联网真的来到 对你有什么影响?
A rocket carrying a satellite is being launched (Image source: Starlink)

Does it affect us?

The impact on users needs to be viewed from two aspects, one is foreign users, and the other is domestic users.

From the perspective of broadband and 5G construction, foreign high-speed Internet services seem to be struggling. Especially in some sparsely populated countries, fiber optic networks are only concentrated in large cities, and even in the fringe suburbs, there is no fiber optic broadband, let alone high-speed Internet access in remote areas. The reason is that in European and American countries, operators dominate the construction of optical fiber networks. Once the cost is too high, the construction progress will be extremely slow or even shelved. According to relevant practitioners, the construction cost of one user of fiber-optic broadband in European and American countries needs about 2,000 yuan. Such a high cost of acquiring customers has caused a great headache for operators. With satellite Internet, users no longer have to look forward to fiber optic access to their homes, and they can directly install satellite Internet receiving equipment to enjoy high-speed Internet.

当卫星互联网真的来到 对你有什么影响?
Home broadband started at 300M, and gigabit capped

From a domestic perspective, the implementation of the "Broadband China" strategy has greatly increased my country's Internet access rate. Now families in first-tier cities can already enjoy the highest gigabit broadband Internet services. The "Village to Village" policy has also provided villages with 4G, 5G and high-speed broadband networks. Therefore, domestic users do not need satellite Internet services.

to sum up:

In summary, the satellite Internet has no impact on ordinary domestic users.Users in remote areas abroad will benefit from this and get high-speed Internet services.Recently, Musk also made it clear that this year, Starlink's downlink rate will rise from 100Mbps to 300Mbps, the delay will drop to 20ms, and the final downlink rate will reach 10Gbps.