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Are Inter-Satellite Laser Links a Bug or a Feature of ISP Constellations?

I hope each of these companies has someone in charge of thinking about what might go wrong with a single, satellite-based network providing fast, low-cost links anywhere on the global Internet. OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat and Leosat all aspire to be global Internet service providers using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Their success will require still-unproven technological innovation, but there are also political stumbling blocks. more

Google and ETECSA Will Agree to Exchange Internet Traffic Without Charge

Google and ETECSA have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to negotiate a peering agreement that would allow cost-free data exchange between their networks once an undersea cable physically connects them. Google has worked hard to establish a relationship with ETECSA and the Cuban government. In recent years, Cuba, not the US, has limited the Cuban Internet. This agreement telegraphs a change in Cuban policy. more

SpaceX's Starlink Internet Service Will Target End Users on Day One

Starting with Teledesic in 1990, would-be Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations have been justified to the FCC, other regulators, and the public as a means of closing the digital divide. Teledesic's goal was "providing affordable access to advanced network connections to all those parts of the world that will never get such advanced capabilities through existing technologies." Today's low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite companies make the same claim, but Telesat, OneWeb and Leosat seem to be targeting commercial markets first. more

4G Mobile Trials Have Begun in Cuba - What Is Their 3/4/5G Strategy?

During the first month of 3G mobile service, Cuban Internet use increased substantially. At the end of January, ETECSA had 5.4 million mobile users, 35% of which use the Internet and they are adding 5,000 new data customers per day. According to Eliecer Samada, head of ETECSA's wireless access group, the company is now at 160% of the expected capacity. more

CarPIF Regional Connectivity Meeting to Address Affordable and Resilient Internet Access

The Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada has been selected as the venue for the fifth regional meeting of the Caribbean Internet Peering and Interconnection Forum, CarPIF, set for June 12 to 13. The annual international event, which draws Internet giants like Facebook and Google to the region, is focused on developing the Internet in the Caribbean by improving policy and building relationships between network operators and content providers. more

Google Baloons and Telesat Satellites

Telesat will use Google's network operating system. Telesat is making progress. Within the last month, they announced a launch contract with Blue Origin, a successful antenna test with Ball Aerospace and completion of system requirements reviews, but perhaps more interesting is an agreement to use the software defined network (SDN) platform Google has developed for their Project Loon. more

Banning 5G Equipment is a Foolish Strategy

It has become popular today around Washington and the venues of its coerced allies to issue threats to ban telecommunications equipment from certain countries - especially equipment intended for 5G use. The guise is vague assertions of "national security." It is an old tactic dating back to the turn of the last century and recurrent for decades. A combination of treaty instruments and collaborative industry standards activity several decades ago largely put an end to the banning tactic - significantly benefitting the entire world. more

Electronically Steerable, Flat-Panel Antennas for Satellite and Terrestrial Connectivity

What will the cost and capability of these antennas be in ten or twenty years? What would be the applications and implications of ubiquitous wireless networks? You might have some short-term guesses, like smart cities, but farther out it's science fiction -- Gaia, the Noosphere, 1984? ... Three companies, OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat, plan to provide global, low-latency broadband Internet service using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. more

The First Month of Cuban 3G Mobile Internet Service

ETECSA, Cuba's government monopoly ISP, is offering a number of stopgap Internet services -- navigation rooms, home DSL and WiFi hotspots, but the recently rolled out 3G mobile service is the most important. The plot to the right shows the normalized rate of Cuban domain name requests to Oracle servers during the first full month of operation - a surrogate estimate of Internet traffic volume. more

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