Satellite provider geostationary Insists that low-earth orbit services like Starlink should not be viewed as the only solution.
WASHINGTON – As SpaceX continues to expand Starlink’s communications network and promote service, established satellite operators are working out strategies to stay competitive.
During the Satellite 2021 LEO Digital Forum on April 6, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company was moving forward with plans to bring Starlink’s satellite Internet service directly to consumers and also keep an eye on the US government. As a customer
At the same time executives from the commercial satellite geostationary Argued that low-earth orbit services like Starlink should not be viewed as the only solution to address customer communication problems.
SpaceX has about 1,320. Satellites are in orbit and there are hundreds more plans to launch this year. This summer, it will begin installing satellites in polar orbit.
Shotwell said The defense is now Become more interested in communications services from Earth’s low-Earth orbit and are building their own networks. But she expects the government to buy commercial services as well.
“You can see governments start to think about LEO capabilities that are ubiquitous on their own, so I don’t know how much they can buy from commercial,” she said. Government sector “
DoD has expressed interest. In Starlink and generally in the use of LEO communication services from third-party service providers such as Iridium and OneWeb This is because data can be transmitted with minimal lag or latency compared to satellite services. geostationary That is 22,000 miles above the equator.
Geostationary satellites Unable to provide continuous coverage in polar regions due to the curvature of the Earth. Meanwhile, the LEO satellite rotates at an altitude below 1,200 miles and provides continuous global coverage as the satellite moves.
SES CEO Steve Collar said the company is offering a hybrid service that combines satellites from multiple orbit.
SES operates satellites In geostationary orbit And a network of medium-sized earth satellites orbits about 5,000 miles above Earth, Collar said, says the government wants access to a seamless network that leverages multiple orbits to route traffic according to customer needs.
Collard said commercial and government customers are confused with different networks and service providers. “Customers are faced with this disruptive industry without a consistent solution,” he said.
He said that managed services that allocate network capacity on demand are the answer, “You have to have a complex brain that is aware of the needs.”
Pradman Kaul, chairman of Hughes Network Systems, said the company is developing a hybrid strategy, in partnership with OneWeb Hughes, to offer satellite-based services. geostationary “We believe we need a blended solution,” he said.
Viasat Executive Chairman Mark Dankberg said there are pros and cons to weigh.Viasat operates the satellite. geostationary But last year it announced that it would create a constellation. Almost 300 satellites In low Earth orbit, if it can be subsidized by the Federal Communications Commission to provide broadband in rural areas.
Dankberg confirmed that the satellite capacity geostationary “The bandwidth economics point of view puts GEOs very seriously,” he says. “Non GEOs can provide lower latency and cover all poles.” However, the “big problem” of LEO communications is the band. The orbit is becoming more and more congested and an unsafe environment.
“Geostationary satellite They can’t collide and don’t interfere with each other, ”Dankberg said.“ In non-GEOs, every constellation can collide with one another, and every constellation can interfere with other constellations. ”
Viasat in December File a petition to the Federal Communications Commission to conduct SpaceX’s Starlink environmental audit, arguing that the satellite system poses environmental hazards in space and on Earth.
SpaceX in a file called Viasat’s complaint “Against playing competitive games”