Samsung nestles in with Branson, Musk in race for low-orbit web-spewing satellites
Samsung could be planning to launch a fleet of 4,600 micro-satellites that would provide internet connections to users all over the world.
The plan is the brainchild of Samsung Research America president Farooq Khan, who penned a paper titled ‘Mobile Internet from the Heavens’, where he described how a fleet of micro-satellites would be the solution the ever-increasing need for internet connections around the world.
“Almost two-thirds of the humankind currently does not have access to the Internet, wired or wireless,” wrote Khan in his paper.
“We present a Space Internet proposal capable of providing Zetabyte/month capacity which is equivalent to 200GB/month for 5 Billion users Worldwide. Our proposal is based on deploying thousands of low-cost micro-satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), each capable of providing Terabit/s data rates with signal latencies better than or equal to ground based systems.”
The scheme is very similar to those of Richard Branson’s OneWeb, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Satellite broadband is currently in existence, but the idea of bringing satellites into a lower orbit reduces problems caused by latency.
Khan said that one of the major barriers in connecting communities without internet is the cost of putting the infrastructure in place. With the goal of reducing that cost, Khan has proposed a new wireless infrastructure (pictured) that is called multi-comm-core (MCC).
Khan also said that the cost can be kept lower by launching micro-satellites that are “easier to launch and maneuver in orbit”.
“[MCC] can scale to Terabit/s data rates for ground based local area and wide area wireless access, for wireless backhaul as well as access via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellites,” wrote Khan.
Whilst incredibly complex, the research paper proposed a plan purely at a theoretical stage, and Samsung has not made public any action it may be taking on launching the fleet of satellites just yet.