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Simulation of OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's Proposed Global Broadband Constellations

Inigo del Portillo and his colleagues at MIT have run a simulation comparing OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's proposed low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations. The models are based on the initial FCC filings by the companies and demand and data-rate estimates by the authors. I will mention subsequent amendments to the filings below later in the post. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2018

At the end of 2017, I posted a review of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments. I've been updating those posts during the year and have also added the following new posts in 2018. ... SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat are planning to offer Internet-service from LEO, but O3b is already providing connectivity to relatively large customers like mobile phone companies, government organizations, and cruise ship lines using a constellation of medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites.  more

OneWeb’s Offer to Sell a Share of Their Satellite Internet Service to Russia

OneWeb has a contract to launch Internet-service satellites on Russian-made Soyuz rockets and has a joint venture with Gonets, a Russian satellite operator, as a marketing partner in Russia. However, the Russian government has expressed concerns about security, dragged their feet on spectrum allocation and complained about US sanctions. This led OneWeb to make two concessions. more

Lessons from the O2 Network Outage: The Real Cost of Manual Processes

More than 30 million people lost their data connectivity on December 6, 2018, in the United Kingdom as O2's network suffered from a nationwide service outage. Based on several reports, the incident was caused by a human error at Ericsson, the telecoms supplier responsible for operating certain parts of the O2 network. To compensate for the downtime and tarnished reputation, the O2 management is now reportedly seeking damages of up to a hundred million pounds from Ericsson. more

The Case for Making 3G Mobile Internet Access Free in Cuba

Last week ETECSA began offering 3G mobile access to Cuba's national intranet and the global Internet and President Diaz-Canal tweeted the news. His tweet has received 216 comments so far and reading through them, many are effusively positive... Others were critical, noting that the prices are high relative to Cuban incomes (one said "absurd") and the technology is obsolete -- "Congratulations, but they're 20 years late." more

Cuba Rolls Out 3G Mobile Access

After several months of trials, ETECSA announced the availablity of third-generation mobile access to their national intranet and the global Internet in a televised "round table." The prices are quite steep for a typical Cuban and I suspect there would be relatively few subscribers among the 34% of the population that is not yet covered. Furthermore, many users will have to buy new phones to use the service. (There are still 1,084 second-generation mobile base stations in Cuba). more

Rural Home Connectivity in Cuba

Cuba's government monopoly ISP ETECSA in October announced special home connectivity rates for some of the poorest towns in rural Cuba. The monthly charge for 30 hours of 512/256 Kbps DSL access in those towns will be 5 CUC. In other areas where home connectivity is available, the minimum monthly charge is 15 CUC for 30 hours of 1,024/256 kbps service and faster, more expensive, plans are available. more

A Cool Simulation of SpaceX’s Revised Satellite Broadband Plan

On November 15, the FCC approved a revision to the plan for Starlink, SpaceX's forthcoming broadband satellite service. The new plan reduces the number of satellites from 4,525 to 4,409 and lowers the altitude of the phase-1 satellites from 1,100 to 550 km. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has created videos based on simulations he ran of both the original and revised phase 1 plans. more

BGP Hijacks: Two More Papers Consider the Problem

The security of the global Default Free Zone (DFZ) has been a topic of much debate and concern for the last twenty years (or more). Two recent papers have brought this issue to the surface once again - it is worth looking at what these two papers add to the mix of what is known, and what solutions might be available. The first of these traces the impact of Chinese "state actor" effects on BGP routing in recent years. more

Obstacles in OneWeb's Negotiations with Russia

This case illustrates the fact that political, security, and financial negotiations may be as difficult as designing satellites and rockets for a would-be global Internet service provider. OneWeb is investing billions of dollars in a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) Internet-service satellites. In 2015 they placed launch orders for 21 Russian-made Soyuz rockets. more