A large population is left out of internet connection. The billionaire Elon Musk is working towards narrowing the internet gap. With the Starlink project, he is in a way to launch thousands of small satellites that will zip around the globe in the low-earth orbit (LEO).
These satellites will connect places that are very remote for ground-based broadband or have been cut off by natural disasters or war.
What is the Starlink project?
Starlink is a project by SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk. In simple words, the project will provide high-speed internet access to every corner of the planet using a constellation of thousands of satellites.
Starlink aims to offer broadband service that is faster, cheaper, and more reliable than existing options, especially in rural and remote areas where connectivity is limited or nonexistent.
Benefit of Starlink project in LEO
Many LEO satellites circle from 500 kilometers (311 miles) to 2,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface. This helps in sending data to the ground more rapidly than traditional communication satellites that are stationed at roughly 36,000 kilometers out.
Those high-orbit systems have a median signal delay, or latency, of nearly 600 milliseconds for a round trip. But this speed is very slow for technologies such as live video streaming, automatic cars (self-driving cars), and high-frequency securities trading.
Starlink aims for latency as low as 20 milliseconds, which Musk hopes eventually to cut in half.
Each satellite in the Starlink project will use four phased array antennas and two parabolic antennas to provide increased capacity.
Is it suitable to prefer the Starlink satellite project over fiber?
Starlink satellite internet may not be as fast as fiber, but it has large accessibility. Unlike fiber, which requires time-consuming infrastructure to reach remote areas, satellite internet can beam down signals from the sky to almost every corner of the earth.
It will benefit the people living in rural or underserved regions who can now enjoy broadband speeds that are comparable to or better than DSL or cable.
Starlink does plan to improve speeds and latency with the new launch of low-earth orbit satellites though, hence making internet connection accessible to all.
According to the latest information from SpaceX, Starlink has more than 400,000 global subscribers as of May 2022, a significant increase from 250,000 subscribers in March. With the passing months in 2023, the subscriber base of the Starlink project has increased.
Starlink is increasing its connectivity from the global north to the global south. It is expected to launch its satellite services in India soon. SpaceX has already written to India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to facilitate approvals to use satellite technology for internet access in remote areas.
Nearly 3 million people are living with the internet. Starlink as its name suggests works like a star connecting everyone to the internet. Elon Musk rejection for the Starlink project in Ukraine has gather huge limelight. He by doing so states that, he cannot use his project for covering the legal military purposes. The Starlink project is for the people, to serve them and connect them with rest of the world with internet in return making information easily accessible to them.
Elon Musk clearly replied that there is clear indication of not willing to give Starlink connection in Ukraine or avoiding the area due to some security or ethical reasons.
Economies like China and many European nations are consistently backing rival LEO systems for fear of being shut out of critical future technology. Everyone is in the race to colonize the stratosphere using satellites.