SpaceX’s plan to launch thousands of internet-beaming satellites into space is hitting some turbulence. The project proposes to send a fleet of more than 4-thousand satellites — triple the satellites circling earth now — to bring fast internet all over the globe. The initiative would shake up the regular telecom market, but it’s concerns over interference with other satellites that have regulators thinking twice.
Elon Musk’s rocket startup SpaceX originally planned to start launching their internet satellites as soon as 2019, but this week American regulators at the FCC voted to defer part of the operating regulations to the International Telecommunications Union.
The problem regulators are having isn’t the fact that this is going to totally shake up the telecom industry, in fact, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in Washington this week that the fleets “could be a gateway to more broadband competition, which benefits all consumers.”
What regulators are concerned about is making sure all the competing systems could work properly while sharing and coordinating the same spectrums. If you haven’t already guessed, SpaceX isn’t the only company looking to conquer this new frontier — companies like OneWeb, Telesat and Boeing are also working on launching this same internet-beaming technology
But with part of the regulations now turned over to the UN’s telecom union, SpaceX could see big limits put on their radio wave frequencies — essentially, restricting their operational capabilities. And it could prove to be a major blow for a company that was set to rely on that revenue stream to boost its rocket program.
So, what does all this mean? Well, while regulations might jeopardize margins for SpaceX, the bigger picture here is that super-fast internet (we’re talking 100 times faster than home broadband) will available in nearly every corner of the world in the foreseeable future. Eventually, regulators will figure it out and new standards for power usage, transmission and frequency will be set. Then, people, enterprises and governments all over the globe will have access to the internet with fiber-like speeds from space.
OK, and what about right now? Well, if you’re looking for access to fast, reliable internet that can be implemented quickly anywhere in the world, we’d say 4G is the way to go. With our newly launched and groundbreaking Blended Connectivity service, you can now leverage fixed lines and 4G to connect mobile and hard to reach devices, act as a backup network, or take a company live-to-market quicker than ever. Curious to learn more? Check out the announcement or get in touch.