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Boeing gets green light for satellite internet constellation

2021-11-04 18:29 by
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday said it had approved Boeing Co's application to launch and operate 147 satellites to provide high-speed broadband internet access.

With the approval, Boeing can now start building out its satellite infrastructure, beginning with 147 satellites. Boeing will deploy 132 low-Earth satellites orbiting at an altitude of 1,056 kilometers. The other 15 will be non-geostationary, which means they follow the rotation of the Earth. Those types of satellites orbit at a much higher altitude - between 27,355 and 44,221 kilometers, according to the FCC filing.

"As detailed in its FCC application, Boeing plans to provide broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users in the United States and globally," the FCC said in its announcement approving the license.

All 147 satellites would broadcast in the V-band, a higher-frequency slice of the wireless spectrum than the Ka and Ku bands used by SpaceX's Starlink network or Amazon's yet-to-be-deployed Project Kuiper satellites. Using V-band could allow for faster data transfer rates but runs a greater risk of interference because the higher frequencies have more trouble penetrating solid objects. (SpaceX has plans to use the V-band in some future satellites, and so does OneWeb. The Ka and Ku bands are also used by satellites that provide in-flight internet on commercial airlines.)

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