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Old 06-10-2015, 07:40 PM   #1
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Very Inexpensive Boat-based Internet Coming...?

This looks interesting. Would you get it for your boat if it happens soon?

SpaceX founder files with government to provide Internet service from space

Elon Musk’s space company has asked the federal government for permission to begin testing on an ambitious project to beam Internet service from space, a significant step forward for an initiative that could create another major competitor to Comcast, AT&T and other telecom companies.

The plan calls for launching a constellation of 4,000 small and cheap satellites that would beam high-speed Internet signals to all parts of the globe, including its most remote regions. Musk has said the effort “would be like rebuilding the Internet in space.


SpaceX founder files with government to provide Internet service from space - The Washington Post
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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Interesting to note:

Musk’s FCC filing proposes tests starting next year. If all goes well, the service could be up and running in about five years.

The satellites would be deployed from one of SpaceX’s rockets, the Falcon 9. Once in orbit, the satellites would connect to ground stations at three West Coast facilities. The purpose of the tests is to see whether the antenna technology used on the satellites will be able to deliver high-speed Internet to the ground without hiccups.

Despite a history of failed satellite ventures, wealthy individuals and companies are pouring fresh funds into exploring satellite-based communications. Google and Fidelity recently invested $1 billion into SpaceX, in part to support the satellite broadband Internet project.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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4,000 more little pieces of metal floating around up there? Soon it is going to be more congested in space than on the Hollywood Freeway.

As to whether I would buy it? If it is more reliable than its competitors and cheaper, of course!
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:02 AM   #4
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"As to whether I would buy it? If it is more reliable than its competitors and cheaper, of course!"

AS the phone guys add equipment , I think the cable and sat folks are going off with buggy whips and hard wired phones..

The question will only be answered when there is enough equipment for a genuine PRICE WAR!

Creative destruction , let the battle begin!

TV is worth 25C a day , not a buck or two.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"As to whether I would buy it? If it is more reliable than its competitors and cheaper, of course!"

AS the phone guys add equipment , I think the cable and sat folks are going off with buggy whips and hard wired phones..

The question will only be answered when there is enough equipment for a genuine PRICE WAR!

Creative destruction , let the battle begin!

TV is worth 25C a day , not a buck or two.
Are you sure it is worth 25 cents/day???
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:38 AM   #6
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The satellite TV guys already do this, don't they? The problem is the uplink to geosynchronous satellites 20,000 miles away. And, you have to aim the dish properly (tough on a moving boat).

Maybe a system with a bunch of low orbiting satellites will solve both those problems.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:54 AM   #7
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There already is a low orbit system...several low traffic volume systems, both phone and email are in use today.

Will be interesting what every year will bring...
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:00 AM   #8
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There already is a low orbit system...several low traffic volume systems, both phone and email are in use today.

Will be interesting what every year will bring...
So Musk isn't doing anything revolutionary, or "disruptive," just adding capacity?
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:55 AM   #9
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I have and use satellite internet on the boat constantly.

I would love cheaper prices.

I get high speeds at 2mbps but pay $.99 a MB for the service.

Its not cheap but its better than sitting in the office.

I try to keep the costs under control, and use cellular when within range but last month my satellite bill was for example around $1400. Month before I think around $1200. If I was on the boat, on satellite all month the cost for what I need to do would be probably tripple that.

Lots of money on the table to build a competing system.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:06 AM   #10
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So Musk isn't doing anything revolutionary, or "disruptive," just adding capacity?
The proposed system is new. There are existing service providers but they are expensive, or slow.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:09 AM   #11
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So Musk isn't doing anything revolutionary, or "disruptive," just adding capacity?
Not really that I can tell.

Handheld start phones have been around and viable for at least 15 years to the boating community.

The handheld devices like In Reach and Spot and others I believe use the low orbit satellites.

I am assuming the loading would be critical and therefore the huge constellation.

But crowding in 3D should be less of an issue...unless there is a collision that wipes out portions with debri....I think that's the bigger issue than just room for satellites.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:35 AM   #12
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Check out the saga of Lightsquared; started as a similar satellite concept, then they realized to be competitive , they needed a terrestrial network as well. Problem was, it interfered with GPS. They are now out of bankruptcy, and back to the drawing board. I'm not sure where Mr. Musk is getting his spectrum, but L2 may be a candidate. Sounds like kind of a mash-up of Iridium and L2.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post

I would love cheaper prices.

I get high speeds at 2mbps but pay $.99 a MB for the service.

Its not cheap but its better than sitting in the office.

Lots of money on the table to build a competing system.
The number of users is inversely proportional to the price per Mb. At $1 per Mb only a few who either have tons of money or absolutely need it for their business will pay that kind of money.

At 10 cents per Mb you will get a few more users.

It has to get to 1 cent per Mb to really break into the mass market.

I presume that Musk's service with its 4,000 satellites will be a low earth cloud and presumably will not need a pointed dish.

David
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:22 PM   #14
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The number of users is inversely proportional to the price per Mb. At $1 per Mb only a few who either have tons of money or absolutely need it for their business will pay that kind of money.

At 10 cents per Mb you will get a few more users.

It has to get to 1 cent per Mb to really break into the mass market.

I presume that Musk's service with its 4,000 satellites will be a low earth cloud and presumably will not need a pointed dish.

David
The challenge a new satellite based system will have is that over the vast majority of the united states at least there is cellular coverage. Right now I am paying $3.50 per gb for cellular data, and cellular prices are falling.

They are going to have to beat that price point and then some to get conversion of customers, and that does not even answer the "how are they going to connect" issue.

If they are just going to chase customers that are not served by land or cellular networks then they have a much smaller market potential but a much higher price point to beat.

Right now KVH is the only real high speed satellite service for non fixed customers. What they do is lease transponders on other companies satellites and have patched together a pretty good coverage area serving the maritime industry. Their prices are high but if you really need connectivity they are very reliable.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:57 PM   #15
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That's going to be quite the challenge to go satellite for mass market internet. Takes alot of bandwidth, spectra is limited, and reception in both transmit and receive is best when aimed at the nodes. Can see it working, certainly. Cheap? Not likely.

But Kudos for working on it. Prove me wrong!!!
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:58 PM   #16
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Here are some new details on the SpaceX Satellite internet plans. It sounds like the goal is to be very inexpensive.

The details behind SpaceX’s ambitious satellite internet experiment

In a filing (pdf) with the Federal Communications Commission requesting an experimental license, SpaceX described a plan to launch six to eight satellites next year to begin testing for “a large constellation of small satellites for low-latency, worldwide, high-capacity Internet service in the near future.”

The company wants to start with two identical microsats, launched on its flagship Falcon 9 rocket. The satellites will communicate on high-frequency Ku-satellite spectrum to reach three ground stations on the west coast of the US—SpaceX operations in Los Angeles and Redmond, Washington, and at Tesla Motors (Musk’s other company) in Fremont, California—in order to test the broadband antennas built into the satellites.

...

But Musk has high hopes, reportedly telling a group of potential employees at an informal presentation that he wants the network to handle as much as 10% of internet traffic in densely populated areas.

Read the full report here:

The details behind SpaceX’s ambitious satellite internet experiment - Quartz
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:59 PM   #17
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More good news on the issue of cheap internet access while traveling the globe by boat. Airbus is getting into the game too. This is great news for those of us who would like to cruise the globe while still doing some significant work projects remotely.

Airbus to build giant satellite network

European aerospace giant, Airbus, is going to build the world's largest satellite constellation.

The company will produce 900 spacecraft for OneWeb, a British Channel Islands-registered concern that aims to broaden internet access to the underserved.
More than 600 satellites will initially be launched, with the rest held as spares.
The deal was announced at the Paris Airshow.

The multi-billion-dollar OneWeb constellation will dwarf any previous commercial network in the sky by a factor of 10.

Airbus will be the "industrial partner" on the project. And the role represents an immense challenge, because Airbus has made its name on some of the world's highest specification and most expensive telecommunications platforms.

In contrast, its workflow for OneWeb will have to be high volume at an extremely low cost.

Airbus to build giant satellite network - BBC News
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