Samsung proposes internet using thousands of tiny satellites2015-08-14 10:30 by Daniela
Tags: Samsung, satellites, Internet
Technology giant Samsung has proposed a new way for bringing low-cost internet to the world by creating a network of 4,600 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) micro-satellites. In a paper titled "Mobile Internet from the Heavens", Farooq Khan, president of Samsung research and development in Texas explains his idea and points that based on current usage, demand for mobile data will hit one zettabyte per month by 2028.
"As more people connect to the internet, increasingly chat to friends and family, watch videos on the move, and listen to streamed music on their mobile devices, mobile data traffic continues to grow at unprecedented rates," he said, adding satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles will be needed to "connect the remaining two-thirds of humankind that currently do not have access to the internet".
According to Khan, those 4,600 micro-satellites could stream one zettabyte of data per month. That's equivalent to 200GB/month for 5 billion users worldwide.Placing satellites in low-earth orbit would prevent the connection from suffering the latency issues people associate with satellite internet, which stems from data being streamed from far higher altitudes.
The micro-satellites would orbit between 160 kilometers and 2,000 kilometers in altitude. Rather than beaming data directly to mobiles, they would connect to cellular base stations or Wi-Fi access points, which in turn would provide connectivity to mobile devices. Use of phased-array antennas on the satellites and on the ground would also allow for better coverage and reduced interference.
Currently, Samsung doesn't treat the idea as a near-future project, but just as a proposal for a way to meet the wireless traffic demands of the 2020s.
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